Charlotte Motor Speedway
Running Tracks Backward
The All Star Race, let’s face it, is a series of gimmicks strung together in the cause of entertainment. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. It’s what every sport does. People like home runs? Then let’s have an ‘event’ in which people just try to hit home runs. People want to feel like they play a role? Then let’s make a ballot and let people pick who they want to see. It’s all O.K. because (as Drew Carey said “What’s My Line”) the points don’t count. NASCAR had an interesting thought last year. What if we use the All-Star […]
A Band Aid for NASCAR’s Tire Bleeding Problem
There are three things you don’t mess with in NASCAR: engines, fuel and tires.
Tuesday, NASCAR handed down a P5 penalty – the penultimate penalty on the books – to Ryan Newman’s 31 team. Crew Chief Luke Lambert was suspended six races, fined $125,000, and Newman and his owner Richard Childress were each docked 75 points. The tire specialist and team engineer were suspended for six races as well. RCR is appealing the penalty, but I wager they’ve got an uphill battle.
NASCAR’s made its stand loud and clear in the last few weeks. Tire bleeding will not be allowed. If you persist in trying, they’ll come down hard on you.
Fired Up: The Science of Flames
If you were to poll racecar drivers about safety, I bet the majority of them would say the scariest situation isn’t a crash.
Two fears you have as a race car driver: one is being on fire and two is being T-boned in the driver door – everything else you sort of accept. –Elliott Sadler
Transportable SAFER Barriers?
Can racetracks work together to make interchangeable/transportable SAFER barriers? To clarify – could SMI or ISC tracks (politics, blah) standardize wall heights, angles, etc. so that they could use barriers at Michigan to fill in the critical areas and then move the necessary walls to Darlington or Homestead? Or even simpler – could the existing walls be setup to install barriers that could be moved from track to track? In the long term I know this is probably not the most cost effective solution. But in the short-term if there are supply problems or significant cost barriers, I thought this could help?
A Numbers Geek Looks at Las Vegas
A couple observations about history at Las Vegas…
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 SAFER barriers was likely to not only not prevent driver injuries, but might actually introduce new problems. Other people accused this group of being insensitive and “stupid”. Interestingly, the small number of cautionary voices were people like the folks who write Racecar Engineering magazine, people who have been involved with motorsports […]
Did Drivers Drive Differently During the Chase? I: Lead Changes
The primary motivation for all the changes to the Chase format was to up the excitement factor – the “game seven moments” as NASCAR brass put it. While the fact of the matter is that you can’t guarantee excitement, all the machinations put in place definitely increased the stakes of the chase races. I’ve heard a lot of people say that the increased stakes spurred the drivers to be more aggressive and that resulted in better racing. To be sure, we had a couple notable off-track incidents. It’s pretty surprising when Matt Kenseth loses his cool. But what about on-track? Lead […]
Skirting the Issue
Flared side skirts became an issue when social media started noticing them somewhere around Kansas. The fact that the most obvious example of this was on the 2 car and Brad Keselowski is rapidly taking over from Kyle Busch as most-love-to-hate driver in NASCAR may have brought the issue to the fore faster.
Can Anyone Really Win at Talladega?
Every year at this time, we hear that Talladega is a wild card because “Anyone can win”. Which, of course, made me wonder — can anyone win?