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The official Daytona 500 thread


maddmaxx

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Although Taylor Swift is probably not going to be in attendance, this weekend is shaping up to be a good one.

Wednesday, pole qualifying

Thursday, the Duels at Daytona qualifying races (2)

Friday, NASCAR trucks

Saturday, Xfinity series 

Sunday, Nascar Cup series.

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On 2/12/2024 at 6:13 AM, maddmaxx said:

New nose shapes for Ford and Toyota.  Practice and the Duels will be the first chance to see how well they draft.  Suck up is very important at Daytona.

I find the same holds true for parodies.  Nose shape is critical.  

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15 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

I've always had a hard time getting excited about the super speedway races.

It's a very precise form of racing.  I've ridden the Daytona track at speed and there more going on than one would believe.  First, the cars are right on the verge of flying and they move around a lot, especially when near other cars.  Except for turn 4 one drives the airflow more than the track  In turn 4 there is a bump in the track over the access tunnel near the Daytona Museum.  At race speed, the car may bottom out on the bump and even if it doesn't the car moves at least 6 inches toward the outside of the turn suddenly.  There may be another car where you will move to but hopefully it will also move 6 inches at the same time.

One of the secrets of watching the 500 is to carefully watch the cars 6 or 7 or even more back from the leader to see how they move forward (if they can) around the cars in front of them.  Then you watch the energy of different groups of cars as they gain or lose on the leader.

Managing air and energy in a very precise way is real racing on a superspeedway.  It's a little like flying.

If you look away for a few laps and come back and the same care leading is all you see then you have missed a lot.

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This business of airflow at speed can be explained by this little factoid.  Back around 70 at the peak of the Daytona Charger/Plymouth Superbird, Kyle petty almost crashed into the turn one wall during early practice because the car went straight when the track turned..  The winged car teams had to trim off the outside edges of the lip spoiler under the nose to allow some airflow to get to the front wheels.  Those wheels initiated the turn like rudders on a plane before the tire traction would actually turn the car.

1970 Plymouth Superbird - Mangy Old 'Bird

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57 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

I've always had a hard time getting excited about the super speedway races.

I'm the same. I  liked NASCAR back in the 80s and 90s but when they all started running the same body shape and I really lost interest when they started stages. 

I like 2 and 3 wheel road racing. 

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57 minutes ago, BR46 said:

I'm the same. I  liked NASCAR back in the 80s and 90s but when they all started running the same body shape and I really lost interest when they started stages. 

I like 2 and 3 wheel road racing. 

They had to force some common factors on the cars.  The factories and the teams were going broke trying to keep up or get ahead of the manufacturers newest aero bodies   The Torino Talladega, the Daytona and the Superbird were the high point of factory aero excess.  Those cars were simply ruled out of existence.  Over the next few years there were many more conventional bodies that were altered each year by the manufacturers to gain an advantage.

It wasn't such a big deal when even the large teams had only a few cars (speedway, short track and road course) but todays teams have probably a dozen for each driver and they had to be changed every year.  Then there was the small matter of creative rules interpretation  ;)  Templates and laser testing and commonality of bodies resulted.  NASCAR has given a little and allowed the cars to be a bit different in the current rules.  The Mustang, Camaro and Toyota bodies are all different but are still relatively tightly controlled by the rules to give similar performance.

The name of the game is to have close racing, not a manufacturers runaway like F1 has been suffering.

Factoid................The Charger Daytona was a complete second body attempt by Dodge in 69.  They went from the 68 body to the 69 Charger 500 body (flush grill and fast back window) to the 69 1/2 Daytona winged car because they had been completely aced out by the Torino Talladega (melted and drooped front end).  That was a lot of money spent.

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