Retirements, Replacements and Rookies
Retirement He didn’t use the word ‘retirement’, but the sad news last week was that Matt Kenseth won’t have a Cup ride in 2018. It’s partly his choice. He could have done a Kasey Kahne and taken a ride with a lower-level team, but Matt said he wouldn’t race if…
Can You Predict a Driver’s Success from their Rookie Year Stats?
Now that the season is over, it’s time to look through the statistics from the year. One big story this year was Danica Patrick’s rookie season in Sprint Cup. She didn’t set the world on fire: One top ten, one pole, five laps led and only thirteen lead lap finishes…
Opinion: NASCAR’s Restart Problem – What Would Einstein Do?
Sigh. So instead of talking about a couple great races this week, we’re focusing on restarts. Again. Everyone, from pundits to drivers, is questioning NASCAR’s decisions to not call penalties on the critical restarts of both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup races. The rule is that the leader of…
Do Drivers Slow Down When They Get Older?
There are a lot of things people say in NASCAR that have been said for so long that nobody really thinks about where they came from – or if they’re true. As you get older, you get more and more sensitive to generalizations people make about getting old. I can’t…
From the Lab Notebook: Las Vegas and the Mysteriously Missing Oil Tank Cover
As we head for Las Vegas this weekend, I thought I’d repost on of my most popular posts from stockcarscience.com on 3/5/2008 since the redirects for the old stockcarscience.com site don’t work reliably. The post is about Carl Edwards’ 2008 win at Las Vegas when the team was subsequently fined for having their oil tank cover lid askew at the end of the race. I have edited the post extensively, adding some new information and better graphics.
Will the Gen-6 Car Affect the Number of Cautions?
I love the Gen-6 car. Not as much as I love the Nationwide cars (but that’s got more to do with what I drive than it does the cars). The big question is whether the decrease in cautions is going to be changed because of the new car.Let’s start (as we usually do) with the new car.
Is There Really a Second-Place Curse?
One of the commentators after the final race in Homestead mentioned that Jimmie Johnson should be happy he finished in third because it allows him to avoid the “dreaded second-place curse”.
Anytime someone says something like that, it makes me wonder whether there really is a curse, or whether that person had just been talking to Carl Edwards. So I analyzed a little data and guess what… there really IS a second place curse.
Infographic: Current Drivers’ Rookie Years
Just out of curiosity, I pulled up some data from racing-reference.info on different drivers’ rookie years in the Cup series. The data are from each driver’s first full year as a Cup driver. I picked out some drivers who have gone on to become series champions, some that will likely…
Aerodynamic Downforce: A Passing Fad?
The question of why it is so difficult for cars to pass each other at 1.5 mile and 2 mile tracks is getting more and more attention. Carl Edwards put it succinctly:
“I firmly believe, and NASCAR hates it when I say this, that we should not be racing with downforce, sideforce and all these aerodynamic devices. We do not need splitters on the race cars and giant spoilers. I have not been around long enough to say something definitely, but it is pretty common sense: if all the cars are very similar and all the drivers are within a tenth of a second of each other but are relying on clean air and downforce, then by definition if the guy in front of you is disturbing the air then your car is not going to be able to go as fast as it could in clean air.”
Richmond Redux: Relative Velocity
NOTE: Some clarifications added 1:00 p.m. 4/30/12. Thanks to all the commenters, especially @nateryan! I think Dave Moody did a good job breaking things down. The situation is confounded because there were so many different complications. Who from NASCAR is duly authorized to tell a spotter/crew chief/driver their position? Is…