NASCAR’s Concussion Policy

Concussions were big news in a week where no one actually got one. NASCAR announced a new policy on concussions :  Starting in 2014, all drivers will be required to have a baseline test at the start of the season.  NASCAR will be using the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Test)…

The Science of Speed: Week Ending 10/31/13

My weekly roundup of math, statistics and science-related motorsports stories… and a few things that maybe are more notable for their lack of speed. Racecar Engineering has a lovely series of videos on how to make an F1 car from R&D to putting the whole thing together.  Fascinating to compare…

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.

The Truth about Cell Phones, ECUs and Car Control

It didn’t take long after Brad Kezelowski pulled out his cellphone during the 2-hour-long Daytona red flag for the conspiracy theorists to leap into action.

The argument goes like this: Cellphones should be banned from the car because a driver could use his specially prepared cellphone to a) change the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and/or b) transmit data from the car back to his crew chief during a race. We will not address the suggestions that the driver could use the cellphone to talk secretly to the crew chief during a race because anyone who has been in a race car or worn a helmet knows that’s just plain dopey.

Not Fine with Me!

C’mon NASCAR – I keep trying to defend you and you keep making it hard for me.

@jeff_gluck reports that @nateryan told Brian France that NASCAR seems like

“…an autocratic regime that doles out punishment in a capricious manner.”

While I agree with those sentiments entirely, a slightly different word comes to my mind: “chicken%$!#”

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