Will Toyota’s New Nose Change the Cup Series Balance?

The unveiling last Monday of Toyota’s new redesigned race car for 2017 got a little lost between Junior’s wedding and Carl Edwards’ surprise ‘stepping back’ from NASCAR. But every time a manufacturer redesigns and engine or a body, it opens up a giant task for NASCAR. The Level Playing Field A…

Does Less Downforce Mean More Lift?

Last Tuesday, NASCAR announced aerodynamic modifications to be implemented for the Kentucky Speedway Sprint Cup race on July 11th. While the changes are (right now) only for that race, there’s every expectation that if they help reduce the dreaded ‘aero push’ problem, they may be extended (or modified) for other 1.5…

Skirting the Issue

Flared side skirts became an issue when social media started noticing them somewhere around Kansas. The fact that the most obvious example of this was on the 2 car and Brad Keselowski is rapidly taking over from Kyle Busch as most-love-to-hate driver in NASCAR may have brought the issue to the fore faster.

The Flap over Roof Flaps

Why Roof Flaps? Roof flaps (the invention of which I detail in my book The Physics of NASCAR) help keep cars on the ground.  This is necessary because of Bernoulli’s law, which says basically that: Faster-moving air exerts less pressure. Slower-moving air exerts more pressure. A wing develops lift because the…

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.

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.”

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