NASCAR Technology Principles
NASCAR racing need not be pure recreation if you appreciate engineering and informatics. There is great technological prowess behind success in NASCAR racing. It is not a simple matter of pushing machines and men to their limits. Providing spectators with enjoyment is serious business!
Drivers, cars, and teams have to come together to win races. No one cog of this wheel can function on its own. You must know that driver performances change when they switch teams, and the same applies to owners who contract new drivers and crew chiefs. What do all these people do? Why does one team outperform another on a consistent basis, even though the cars adhere to the same specifications?
NASCAR regulations are both a plus for spectators and a drag on owners at the same time. Engines and other critical race performance parameters have to be kept within strict limits for an event to qualify for NASCAR. You cannot use special engines or allow any advantage to the home team. This keeps the crowds coming in. All of America knows that NASCAR is fair. Only the best team can win! It is the rule of merit, and there are no exceptions. So what does an owner do to put a best foot forward?
Bring an engineer and a computer expert in to your pit. Drivers and old-timers may not like the intrusion at first, but they soon discover that these wizards can tell you a thing or two to make the difference between a win, a place, and ignominy! It starts with sensors. They place gizmos under the hood, on the tires, and next to suspension and transmission systems, which spy on everything that goes on. The results are in terms of masses of data which no human mind can digest in time for the next NASCAR event. So what you do is to hook the sensors to a computer and voila-you have new insights for crews and for the driver, which boost performance standards! Data acquisition is a relatively new technology on the NASCAR circuit, but it sure makes waves! Look out for the quality of engineering and computer support in a team and you will have a winner on your hands!