Climate Change

In-Car Fire Suppression Systems

NASCAR has made significant advances in protecting drivers from crashes, but fire is more of a challenge. Let’s take a look at how fire suppression systems have evolved. A Brief History of Fire Suppression Systems […]

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Diamond

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. […]

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Childers, Rodney

Estimating Fuel Mileage

Last week at New Hampshire, Kevin Harvick easily had the most dominant car, but failed to win the race. They ran out of fuel with three laps to go and finished 21st. The #4 team […]

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Building Cars

The Digital Dashboard

Those of you of a certain age may remember these odd looking flat black vinyl things called ‘records’. Records are analog devices. A groove is cut into the vinyl. A stylus rides along the groove and translates the wiggles in the groove into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted to a speaker, which turns it into a vibration (which, when pleasant, we call “music”.) […]

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Energy

Do Tires Affect Gas Mileage?

When winning means a few hundredths of a second, nothing is too small to be ignored. I’ve talked a lot about energy and the importance of using it as efficiently as possible in racing. Gasoline provides a […]

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Brakes

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. […]

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Explosions

Why You Don’t Mess With Fuel Cell Foam

We’d been hearing rumors of penalties stemming from Kansas and everyone expected them to be announced Tuesday. Since penalties usually have some scientific component, I was sort of hoping for some new material. Tuesday came and went. Nothing. Wednesday, all heck broke loose as penalties were announced for the No 20 JGR car (engine issues) and the No 98 ThorSport truck.
The more interesting — and less discussed — penalty is the ThorSport/Johnny Sauter one. (It was a tough week for Wisconsin drivers). The team was docked 25 points, which is pretty huge for the Truck Series and the crew chief fined $10,000. (I realize that seems small when compared to the Sprint Cup Series penalties, but the Truck Series has correspondingly lower purses and salaries.) […]