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Asphalt

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. […]

Asphalt

How Many “Cookie Cutter Tracks” are There?

One of those phrases you tend to pick up as a NASCAR fan without thinking is “cookie cutter track”. That’s the accusation commonly directed at the one-and-a-half mile tracks (like Texas Motor Speedway, which we’re visiting this week). The complaint is that these tracks are so identical that it’s almost not worth bothering to watch. But are they really identical? […]

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Asphalt

Daytona Potholes: Avoidable or Not?

A couple weeks ago, NPR said that the President George Bush Turnpike was closed due to “a buckle in the road”. My husband commented that he knew Texans had big belt buckles, but he didn’t think they were big enough to shut a whole side of the tollway.
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