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…

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…

The Secrets of PJ1 TrackBite

That sounds like the title for a Young Adult book, doesn’t it? What the Heck IS PJ1 TrackBite? NASCAR announced that they are again going to treat the corners of the track at New Hampshire International Speedway with a magic liquid called PJ1 Track Bite. The track enhancer has been…

NASCAR and Energy Efficiency

It never fails. When I give a talk about The Science of Speed at a University science department (as opposed to a talk for the public), someone will ask “How can you advocate for NASCAR? They’re the biggest waste of gasoline.”

Or something similar.

I’m going to look at this in two ways. People often confuse how much energy is used with how efficiently energy is used. One way to cut back on energy usage is to use less energy, but it’s also possible to use less energy by using the energy more efficiently.

Racing without Friction

Daytona is an enormous, sweeping track. Two-and-a-half miles, 31-degree banking and corner radii of a thousand feet. The infield by itself is 180 acres. If you’ve ever been there (or Talladega), it really does take your breath away when you first enter. Now, bigger tracks (or rather, tracks with bigger turns) automatically…

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…

The Zen of Brake Bias

With all the talk about giving the drivers the ability to change aspects of the setup from within the car, I thought some comments on what types of changes they can make would be appropriate.  Since the only control they have right now is brake bias, let’s start there. The…

Knowing the COSMOS doesn’t mean you know NASCAR

Everyone’s favorite “planet” killer had a spare hour because COSMOS was pre-empted Sunday by the Coca Cola 600.  Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson edified us with some “NASCAR physics”. There were 43 drivers who had no problem taking the corners at more than 165 mph without skidding into the “embankment” and…

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