Darlington Raceway

Darlington Cautions and Accidents

How did Sunday’s race compare to historical Darlington cautions and accidents? Would the lack of practice and no qualifying mean more accidents or fewer? In this blog, I’ll compare the cautions, accidents and spins in […]

Racing

NASCAR Numbers 2019: Part 1

With another season in the record books and everyone making their top ten lists, it’s time to look at what the numbers say about the year that was… Season Overview The requisite 36 points-paying races […]

The Chase/The Playoffs

Which NASCAR Tracks Are Most Accident Prone?

With Bristol this weekend, thoughts turn naturally to carnage. Short track racing means accidents. Given the greater-than-usual level of aggression among drivers this year, we can expect there to be at least a few collisions.

But does short-track mayhem hold a candle to Daytona and Talladega? Let’s see. […]

Building Cars

Toyota’s New Cloaking Device

Did Toyota Really Just Patent a Cloaking Device? The headlines sure suggest they did. Toyota patent reveals ‘Cloaking Device’ for cars Toyota Just Patented a “Cloaking Device”  Other outlets were a little more, ahem, transparent […]

Auto Club Speedway of California

Driving Concussed

Driving Concussed This week brings the return of Jeff Gordon to the track, but under conditions I’m sure all of us wish were otherwise. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is out again (and will be next week) […]

No Picture
Aerodynamics

Daytona, Catchfences and Flying Cars

Track barriers originally were erected to keep cars separated from spectators. In addition to concrete walls to prevent the cars from driving off track, debris-spewing accidents necessitated fencing to contain airborne objects.

Catchfences should have the same properties as walls, but they can’t block the view. Chain link fence is a good compromise: It’s cheap, plentiful, easy to put up and surprisingly strong given its high visibility.

Chain-link fabric is an elastic metal mesh. It can give in two ways: gentle forces cause the mesh to deform. The diamonds stretch out of shape, but when the force is removed, the fabric springs back to its original shape. The fence can also deform by stretching the wires that make up the mesh. A large-enough force will break the wire entirely. […]