One of NASCAR’s major goals is cutting costs for teams by developing a rules package that, with minimal tweaking, can provide good racing at any track. The 2019 rules package met with mixed results. Races were […]
Rules changes in NASCAR are tricky. There’s really no way to test them before implementing them. You’re relying on the judgement and experience of the NASCAR team, with input from race teams, drivers, Goodyear and tracks. […]
Driving Concussed This week brings the return of Jeff Gordon to the track, but under conditions I’m sure all of us wish were otherwise. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is out again (and will be next week) with […]
Track barriers originally were erected to keep cars separated from spectators. In addition to concrete walls to prevent the cars from driving off track, debris-spewing accidents necessitated fencing to contain airborne objects.
Catchfences should have the same properties as walls, but they can’t block the view. Chain link fence is a good compromise: It’s cheap, plentiful, easy to put up and surprisingly strong given its high visibility.
Chain-link fabric is an elastic metal mesh. It can give in two ways: gentle forces cause the mesh to deform. The diamonds stretch out of shape, but when the force is removed, the fabric springs back to its original shape. The fence can also deform by stretching the wires that make up the mesh. A large-enough force will break the wire entirely. […]
A persistent motorsports issue (and not only with stock cars) is the aerodynamic passing problem. You can’t pass without grip. Grip is a direct result of downforce. Downforce comes from two places: the weight of the car (mechanical grip) and the billions and billions of air molecules hitting the car (a.k.a aerogrip). […]
The Hendrick engine shop had four failures at Michigan. The 24 and the 14 reportedly both had valve spring failures. The worst was the 48, whose engine went south while leading with only six laps remaining. […]
We saw a very scary incident during the Cup race Sunday when Mark Martin was T-boned by the edge of the pit road wall. Luckily, the car hit the wall behind the driver’s seat — otherwise, that could have been very serious.
The ends of walls are probably the biggest safety problem NASCAR has right now. The SAFER barriers have radically improved the ability of drivers to walk away from standard crashes, but there are still some vulnerable areas. […]
That fact that people are even talking about restrictor plates for Cup racing at Michigan International Speedway indicates a lack of understanding of the issues that give rise to concerns about cars getting airborne.
I touched on the difference between average and instantaneous quantities last week with the pit road speeding issue at Pocono. Instantaneous speed is the speed you are going at some particular instant. A radar gun measures instantaneous speed. […]
The red arrows indicate the first race after a repave. The pole speed for the Cup race is 12.9 mph more than last year’s pole speed. The previous record for the largest year-to-year change in pole […]