Fire: A Motorsports Safety Challenge

While NASCAR has made significant advances in protecting drivers from crashes, protecting them from fire is a much different — and much more scientifically challenging — problem. I was reminded of that by how Ryan Blaney’s night ended at the Coca Cola 600. Fire Safety and Racecars: A Brief History…

Thermography: A New Weapon in the NASCAR Arsenal

What’s Wrong With this Cow? Can you tell? If you said the cow is the wrong color, you’re close. But there’s more to the story. And What’s That Got to Do with NASCAR? Competition in NASCAR is getting tighter and tighter. As NASCAR’s ramped up penalties for rulebook violations and…

Engine Issues at Talladega: Vapor Lock, Gas Cans and Oil Coolers

An usual number of teams “ran out of gas” or had engine troubles during the Talladega race. The TV analysts had some ready answers for what might have caused these problems. Their extemporaneous theories tend to elicit sighs from engine builders, who know that problems can rarely be diagnosed at the track – and even more rarely by someone who hasn’t looked at the car.

A wonderful aspect of blogging is that we’re not called to have answers on the spot like the television broadcasters and we have the leisure of time. Let’s examine some of those theories.

How Mobil1 Goes in a ‘Quaker State’ Engine

Got a number of questions today about how a team that uses Hendrick engines – Hendrick having Quaker State as a sponsor – can have sponsorship from another oil company. The questions were along the lines of “Will Stewart-Haas have to drain the oil pans when they get them from Hendrick?” Here’s a quick answer, since I’m in the middle of a cross-country move and just about everything I own is in boxes:

The Science of …Oil Tank Pressures

A slight errata: This doesn’t change anything about the science surrouding the oil tank box cover and how it could provide an aerodynamic advantage, but it does clarify the situation with how the oil system is pressurized. Dan pointed out my error some time ago in the comments section to…

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