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Next show: Friday, July 22nd

5:00 PM

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) with “concussion-like” symptoms. Concussion, like many medical problems, is a chronic injury — meaning that it can continue to […]


NASCAR’s Goldilocks Problem: How much Downforce is “Just Right”?

The Problem The current racecar handles badly when its aerodynamics are disturbed by another car. This makes it very difficult to pass. The advantage of having clean air become insurmountable, which makes for less exciting racing. Why? A word once relegated to engineers, but now you hear everywhere: downforce There are […]


Can You Really “Run Better than you Finish”?

“He ran better than he finished” is one of those things you hear and don’t think too much about. Unless, of course, you’re me. I wondered if it was really possible to tell mathematically (or graphically) whether that was true. That raises the question, of course, of how you characterize ‘run’ […]


Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Pledges a Deposit to the (Brain) Bank

Medicine remains one of the most unexplored frontiers of science for two reasons: Ethics prevent you from just experimenting on people the way you might experiment on electrons or quarks. The human body is (aside from the weather) one of the most complicated systems to understand. Dead bodies often yield important scientific […]


Tire Management

NASCAR is very clear about what teams can and can not do to the tires. Teams may not use any chemical or physical means of altering the tires, which means no siping (cutting grooves into the tires), no chemical softening, not even heat blankets to pre-warm the tires are allowed. Basically, you can’t do anything to the tires. This means that when a tire blows out, it’s the tire’s fault. Right?


Is an iPod more dangerous for your ears than a NASCAR race car?

Anyone who’s ever been to the track knows that racetracks are loud. Quite frankly, it’s one of the things many people (including me) like about actually being at the track as opposed to watching on television. But could that noise be doing your hearing permanent damage? Is it any worse than any of the other sounds we encounter on a daily basis?
Let’s go to the data…