Over time, NASCAR has taken its cars through various modifications for different reasons. The modifications have turned out to be unpleasant to some fans. Still, there are arguably several positives from it, especially from the engineering perspective. In this article, we take a look at some of the engineering ideas behind the designs of the stock car at NASCAR.
Aero Push on a Stock Car
It has become the main feature of NASCAR races. A stock car moving at a high speed cuts through pockets of air. The air moves over the top of the vehicle and gets a deflection as it passes over the spoiler on the rear deck. Any car trailing behind it immediately will continuously be running into the affected airspace. However, if the trailing vehicle tailgates at a certain distance, can benefit from the lead vehicle’s aerodynamic force. In other words, the air acts as if the two vehicles are one. The trailing car is thus sucked forward by the vacuum created by the lead vehicle. It lowers the effort of the trailing vehicle and its fuel consumption lowers as well. The two cars can hence move faster than either on its own in a phenomenon called drafting.
Sometimes we’ve seen at the Sonoma raceway, two cars are trying to draft each other, it goes very bad. A crash is the result. Often Auto Towing will have to tow these cars off the track so the race can continue. Drafting is dangerous, but if done right it can be very beneficial to the car being drafted.
Drafting can be utilized to be a powerful technique in NASCAR racing. On the other hand, it can also be a liability. The trailing vehicle experiences a reduced downforce on its front wheels lowering its handling and stability. Aero push thus forces the drivers to take well-calculated moves. The other disadvantage is that some drivers can piggyback on the lead vehicle to remain competitive.
Air pressure produces a downward force that creates a greater pressure between the car tire and the road surface. A difference in pressure on either side of the moving car brings about aerodynamics. Reducing the pressure of air under the car increases the downward force. Increasing downforce increases the handling of the vehicle but lowers the car speed. In NASCAR, downforce is increased through manipulation of the race car bodies.
Stock car lift
Downforce is a form of negative lift that applies to race cars. This means one has to overcome lift in order to build a race car with greater downforce. The goal of the engineers is to reduce the amount of air flowing below the chassis to increase the downforce. They also need to provide an easier way for the air that gets under the car to escape. The cars are thus designed with a higher rear end compared to the front. In addition, the wings attached to cars in NASCAR races are fixed in an upside-down format to lower lift. NASCAR fans have raised complains about these modifications that have caused the racing to lose its appeal. They claim it makes drivers stay in single files rather than challenge each other more side by side. As seen, however, there are advantages behind these designs.
On another note, NASCAR seems to be going through some changes. Some of the reasons can be explored in our other article here.
About ten years ago, anyone going to NASCAR would have to endure long hours in traffic. For the fans, this was a price worth paying in order to enjoy the thrill the race brought. Today, the traffics leading to the races are minor. The stands that once held over 110,000 people at Richmond Raceway have been downsized by half. Other tracks have also been slashed to prevent broadcasts showing large areas of vacant spaces. Ratings of the race on television also hit the all-time low in 2018. This was preceded by the retirement of NASCAR’s most popular drivers.
Sale of NASCAR
A decade ago, the sale of NASCAR was something unthinkable but today it looks like it is overdue. The specter of sale does not just hang over single or few struggling trucks but the whole NASCAR! What was once the fastest growing sport in the country, is now a shadow of its former self. According to reports, the owners are seeking several potential investors who can buy the company. The officials at NASCAR have refused to give any comments on the matter. Insiders, however, have hinted that the French family that owns NASCAR are considering the sale. As shocking as it may sound, the sale of NASCAR is not just inevitable but overdue. Following the decline of the sport’s popularity, it might be the only way out.
What is the value of this sport?
Nobody knows the actual worth of NASCAR, the value of its profit margins or even the controller of its stock. It is also not clear if the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) will be included in the sale. The ISC is the family’s publicly traded arm. The principal owners were Brian, James, and Kennedy France. Brian is reported to have sold his shares around 2005.
The closest comparison to NASCAR would be F1 which was bought at $8B in 2016. It is believed NASCAR would fetch more than that in a sale. As a sanctioning body for stock-car racing, it has fewer expenses and few overheads. It currently has a TV deal with NBC and Fox all worth $8.2B. in order to host races, track owners pay up to $2300 for every car per race. The other revenue is collected from corporate partners and sponsors as well as fans through payment of entry fees and purchase of merchandise.
The total value would be set by an investment bank. Besides that, a potential buyer would also need to determine the unknown. Is it possible for a stock-car racing sport reclaim the glory and audience it had ten years ago? Will NASCAR ever enjoy the national appeal it once did? What is the growth potential of the sport in other regions? Unfortunately, it is not possible to find the answers to these questions.
Are you an auto racing fan? If yes, then you must have heard about NASCAR. But you probably don’t know what it is all about and how it came about. The National Association for Stock Auto Car Racing is an operating and sanctioning car racing company in America. It is usually abbreviated as NASCAR. The company is famously known for running automobile racing in Brazil, Australia, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, and the US. Monster energy cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoor are the three largest NASCAR auto racing series. In addition to those three national racing series, there are other regional NASCAR series such as K&N pro, Pinty’s, PEAK Mexico and Whelen.
NASCAR Tracks Worldwide
More than 100 tracks and 1500 races are sanctioned by NASCAR in 48 states of the US. They’re also in Europe, Canada, and Mexico. Founded in 1948 by France Bill Sr., the company is headquartered in Daytona, Florida. Its races enjoying television broadcast in more than 150 countries around the world.
In the early 1920s, Daytona beach gained its popularity as the place where world records in land speed are set. These beat Belgium and France as the other alternative locations. The beach acquired its status as the hub for speed enthusiasts following the race between Winston Alexander and Olds Ransom in 1903. The beach became mainly associated with fast cars early in 1936 when the race premiered involving a slightly more than 6km race course with about 3km stretch along the beach and a narrow highway.
Stock Car Racing History
In the United States, stock car racing got its roots during prohibition in rum-running. This is where moonshine was made in the United States’ region of Appalachia when the drivers ran. To distribute their contraband products, the bootleggers made use of fast cars to make it easy to evade the authorities. Most of these drivers would add modifications to their cars to achieve greater speeds and ease handling. The 21st amendment of the constitution of the US led to a slump in business for any of the bootleggers. However, the southerners had started producing moonshine thus some drivers went on with running only that the reason switched to evading revenue authorities who were making efforts to tax the bootleggers. By 1940s, the races were done for fun and grew to become a major source of entertainment in North Carolina.
In 1946, Bill realized the potential of creating a more organized competition series from what was being done as fun. He announced the creation of the stock racing circuit and made contact with the American Automobile Association (AAA) with the hope of getting some support financially for the idea. However, the AAA turned him down and so he opted to raise money for the competition through attendance.
Are you a fan of Daytona, or Formula 1 racing? Or any other automotive racing for that matter? If so, you have come to the right place. This Site was built for race car lovers. We’ll be discussing race car drivers, race teams, the race car itself and much more as time moves on .Sit back, and buckle your seat belts for some fast paced race information.