How to Make Grippier Racetracks Using Spy Technology

If PJ1 TrackBite isn’t the Solution, What is? Dale Earnhardt, Jr. suggested tracks stop using PJ1 Trackbite because it didn’t work well in Charlotte last weekend. He called for additional research to understand how the substance affects the track before continuing to use it. A couple of drivers expressed similar…

How Tracks Take and Lose Rubber

The two words we heard most frequently last week in Pocono (after “still raining”) were “green racetrack”. Rain doesn’t just delay racing. When the race is finally run after a rain delay, it’s run on a different racetrack. To get the details of how a racetrack changes from “rubbered up”…

Are SAFER Barriers Everywhere the Solution?

TL;DR:  No. As the extent of Kyle Busch’s injury Saturday evening at Daytona became evident, Twitter erupted in angry calls for SAFER barriers to be put up on every wall at every track. An interesting division of sides appeared. A small number of people cautioned that simply plastering every track with…

2015 Rules: Track Records I – The Example of Charlotte

@NASCARRealTime, @TheOrangeCone and @CircleTrackNerd had an interesting dialog when the 2015 rules were announced. They were debating whether the track records that are now standing are going to be essentially locked into history. The debate ended with an appeal to me and Goody’s Headache Powder.

Whose Fault Is It? Tires or Track?

There were 15 cautions last week at Kansas Speedway and at least 15 drivers complaining that driving on the repaved track surface was like driving on ‘razor blades’.  “The worst racetrack I’ve ever driven on.” said race winner Kevin Harvick. Normally when you have a lot of cautions, the drivers’…

Can We Race Stockcars in the Rain?

In sports car racing, the only discernible change the viewer sees when it rains is that the normal “slicks” (which have no treads) are changed out for rain tires. Thus the calls for NASCAR to develop a rain tire good enough to allow us to continue races, even when it rains.

Hey Larry Mac! Cars Do Not Speed Up in the Grass!

Ever had one of those things that you never noticed before, but when someone brings it to your attention, you notice it and it drives you crazy? Frank Smith emailed me about an observation made by television commentators that was driving him nuts. Now that he mentioned it, I keep hearing it and it’s driving me nuts, too.

Not to denigrate Larry Mac and the other television commentators. I’ve learned a lot from Mr. McReynolds. There’s a perfectly good physics explanation for why he (and others) keep telling us that cars speed up when they get into the grass on a racetrack.

Assuming that the driver has the presence of mind to take his foot off the gas, this is impossible.

Track Drying

I’ve gotten a couple questions about why it takes so long for a track to dry and why humid weather should make a difference, so here’s a short explanation. Air is a mix of gas molecules:  mostly (78%) nitrogen, about 21% oxygen, the rest misc. gases.  The composition is pretty…

%d bloggers like this: