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2017 NCHSAA Realignment

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Cool, I had no idea this board had a NASCAR forum...


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#1 hokiemtc

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 08:38 PM

...for those of you who don't know, I am a Vehicle Design Engineer for NASCAR at the R&D Center in Concord.

 

I'll start monitoring this board like I do the 4A football board. I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone might have (to the extent allowed, of course), and if demand is high enough, I might even post some cryptic insider stuff on here for you guys to enjoy.

 

Just as a show of good faith, today is Mon, Mar 30. Tomorrow (or Wed at the latest), you can expect Tire Gate to go down, with one of the largest penalties ever handed out by NASCAR. Tune in to see who gets nailed.



#2 hokiemtc

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:04 PM

It's not just you guys...the race teams are on pins and needles as well wondering what's going on, but all will be answered here shortly. The complexity of the situation due to 3rd party forensics involvement and the sheer scope of the size of the penalty has caused everyone here to have to dot their I's and cross their T's, which is why this penalty wasn't announced last week.

 

http://nascartalk.nb...-a-third-party/

 

http://www.jayski.co...s.htm#20150327f

 

http://racing.ap.org...anipulate-tires

 

http://espn.go.com/r...doctoring-tires



#3 hokiemtc

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:28 PM

We have more than one 3rd party forensics expert that we use for these cases, and I honestly could not tell you which one was involved last week. It should be part of the penalty announcement, but if not, then it will certainly be a major part of the appeals process (and this one likely will be appealed as high as it can go). I could find out who was involved if there was a good reason to (besides just curiosity).

 

I do know that microscopic analysis was done, and all four tires had identical holes produced by the same object. Due to the inner liners, there are actually a surprisingly limited number of locations along the sidewall where a hole could be placed that would not also pierce the inner liner, and all four tires had their holes placed in the exact same location, strategically placed to avoid the inner liner. From a forensics point of view, this one was pretty cut-in-dried...but it will still get appealed, because so many people will be involved with suspensions, etc.



#4 Chris Hughes

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:46 PM

Lower air pressure means increased grip.

#5 hokiemtc

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:48 PM

It's not an unfair advantage so much as the team was just messing with one of NASCAR's three golden eggs...do NOT mess with the size of the engines, the fuel or the tires. These three rules have been set in stone for ages now, and these are the three areas guaranteed to get you on NASCAR's bad side if you mess with them.

 

From a technical standpoint, small changes in tire pressures can have surprisingly large effects on tire contact patch sizes, and changing the tire contact patch size a slight bit can produce large variations in a car's handling characteristics. Tire heat is the #1 enemy of handling, period. That's why NASCAR tires have sidewalls so thin that you can make one go flat just by walking up and kicking it. Less mass flexing in the sidewall means less heat buildup, and also less mass to retain heat and keep it from dissapating. If a team were to bleed off this extra pressure as it builds, then their handling characteristics could stay much more consistent throughout a run, which will produce a faster, more consistent car.

 

NASCAR has been monitoring what the teams are doing to bleed off these excess pressures as tire heat builds since the middle of last season, and there are various ways to do it. Some teams have been putting pin holes in their air valves and some have been leaving their air valves not fully tightened. Until now, though, NASCAR has not caught anyone actually physically altering the tire itself, and to date, we have not been issuing penalties for the other stuff that we've been seeing. It's pretty easy for us to see who is bleeding off pressures...when we have to pump up the tires just to unload a car off the NASCAR hauler every week, then it becomes pretty obvious.



#6 hokiemtc

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 10:40 PM

Laughing gas in tires makes perfect sense, and who knows, it might be being done right now (we don't check for it that I'm aware of?). The reason Costco (and others) use Nitrogen to fill their tires is because inert gases are much less sensitive to temperature change than air is and therefore will experience less expansion when heated (and less contracted when cooled). It would make perfect sense for a team to be using an inert gas to fill their tires, and I'm not aware of any rule in the rule book mentioning it in any way, which means that it's likely a common practice.

 

There won't be any new rules related to the tire itself...after the rest of NASCAR sees this penalty coming down, then they'll all be scared to death to go anywhere near the actual tire for the next little while. The air valve, valve seat and valve stem areas, on the other hand, are something we plan on continuing to observe and evaluate, but there's nothing in the works at the moment for regulating the things being done in these areas.



#7 clarenceingle

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 11:19 PM

Thanks for the heads up honkiemtc. In the 90ts. at the former New Asheville Speedway, we had a time when drivers were soaking their tires. At first they coated the tires from the outside but officials caught on to that. Because they raced week to week the drivers would buy their tires, take them home and soak them from the inside out. That kept the officials busy before, during and after the race to keep everyone in check. I imagine the old adage of "If you ain't cheatin you ain't tryin" still holds true today.


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#8 hokiemtc

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:22 PM

The press release went out at 4:30 today...

 

Ryan Newman has been docked 75 driver points (a race and a half's worth under the new points system)

Richard Childress has been docked 75 owner's points

Crew chief Luke Lambert has been suspended for 6 races, fined $125,000, and placed on probation thru December

Race Engineer Philip Surgen has been suspended for 6 races and placed on probation thru December

Tire Technician James Bender has been suspended for 6 races and placed on probation thru December



#9 Chris Hughes

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:24 PM

You called it.  Nice job! 

 

Thanks for finding our little NASCAR hideaway here.  Hope you'll visit often. 



#10 hokiemtc

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:29 PM

It's pretty rare that penalties are not announced in the same week that they occur, but this particular case drug out an extra week because of the 3rd party forensic involvement.

 

And as for the board, I'll be checking in every day now that I know it's here.



#11 hokiemtc

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:42 PM

While we're on the subject here, I'd like to take a few minutes and say something about the 4 car, since it was involved in both of the recent tire audits and continues to draw heavy scrutiny.

 

Every week, NASCAR grabs the top couple of finishers, plus either a car at random or some car that raised some red flag during some pre-race inspection, and hauls them back to Concord for a full teardown and tech inspection. Due to the 4 car's recent string of 8 straight top 2 finishes plus it's championship trophy from last year, it has spent more time in pieces on the R&D floor over the past year-and-a-half than any other car in the entire series. Folks...that is one seriously clean race car.

 

It's very common for teams to have a half dozen or more infractions during pre-race inspections, and unless it's something ridiculous, teams are allowed to fix the problems and then go back thru inspection again and as many times as necessary. There are no penalties for this weekly stuff (unless it's something ridiculous), but the infractions are logged nonetheless. Ever since Harvick joined SHR, the 4 car has been one of the three least infracted cars in all of NASCAR. They are fast because they have a system figured out and they are doing what they do better than everyone else, not because they are pushing the gray areas like nearly everyone else in the series is.

 

This is particularly noteworthy because all three of Harvick's teammates rank among the MOST infracted cars in the series.



#12 Chris Hughes

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:10 PM

Kevin Harvick is a great driver, that is never up for debate, but I think Rodney Chidress is the driving force behind his speed and probably for their lack of gray-area infractions.  



#13 hokiemtc

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:18 PM

Kurt Busch has run Rodney Childers setups the last 3 weeks and spent most of those three races running in the top 5. Last year, Busch spent most of the season running around about mid-pack while not running Childers setups. Also, Danica tried it on for size this week for the first time in 2015 and finished 7th, which is about 10 spots higher than she has finished in any other race so far.

 

These are not coincidences.



#14 Chris Hughes

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:19 PM

Kurt Busch has run Rodney Childers setups the last 3 weeks and spent most of those three races running in the top 5. Last year, Busch spent most of the season running around about mid-pack while not running Childers setups. Also, Danica tried it on for size this week for the first time in 2015 and finished 7th, which is about 10 spots higher than she has finished in any other race so far.

 

These are not coincidences.

 

One would ask...what in the hell is Smoke waiting for then. 



#15 hokiemtc

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:32 PM

Smoke has tried them a couple of times over the past year and says he can't drive the car. It's a major comfort mismatch in some capacity.

 

If all three of his teammates continue to run in the top 10, though, I bet Smoke sucks it up and gives it another shot.






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