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Car weight vs downforce vs speed

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stuntguy13

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Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:42 pm

Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Is Danica at a disadvantage because as a driver she only adds about 100 lbs to the mechanical downforce of the car requiring more aero to be put into her car then other drivers? Seems that speed is linked to aero drag but grip is tied to weight and aero downforce. I believe NASCAR requires all the cars weigh a minimum allowing 150 lbs for the driver.

Now Tony must go 240 plus which is 90 ish above the allowed driver weight that adds to the mechanical downforce of the car. Danica is 50 lbs less therefore to keep her car down more aero is needed which slows her car on the straights.

Conventional thinking is that less weight better gas mileage and quicker acceleration. But look at the rest of the team, Kevin and Kurt are getting pretty good runs and fast, they likely go 180 lbs so could be time to think outside the OLD School thinking. Any tests been done along these lines to fine the best weight for her car?
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Schmoopy1000

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Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:18 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

not sure what rule changes there are, but used to be the cars had to have a min. weight like 3400 lbs.

So less a driver weighs the more they can manipulate where to put the extra weight, but only to a point. Since you can only have like a 55/45 crossweight. Don't know what the exact #'s are from left to right weight, but bottom line. CC's try to make the cars as light as possible so they can manipulate the extra weight they have to add to a car & where.

I could only imagine it is advantageous to have a lighter driver, but don't think it is for the reasons common folk would think.
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Anyone But Earnhardt

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:41 am

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

I am pretty sure that (99%) that Nascar makes all teams use weights under the seats to ensure that there is a fair playing field for the weight of the drivers.

Here is a column from Nascar.com


By rule, a Sprint Cup car must weigh 3,300 pounds. Where the weight of the driver is concerned, for every 10-pound increment below 180 pounds, 10 pounds of weight must be added to the car. So if a driver weighs between 170 and 179 pounds, the car must weigh 3,310 pounds to compensate.



"I think at Daytona, you couldn't measure it, (because) it would be so small. It would make very, very little difference, especially qualifying."


--Former Cup crew chief Andy Petree on any weight advantage Danica Patrick might have





Dale Jr. suffers Engine failure at 500 practice Video: Earnhardt Jr. blows engine during practice

VIDEO: EARNHARDT JR. BLOWS ENGINE DURING PRACTICE




For a driver who weighs between 160 and 169 pounds, 20 pounds are added; for a driver who weighs 150 to 159 pounds, the car must weigh 3,330 pounds; and, finally, for a driver between 140 and 149 pounds, the weight of the car must be increased to 3,340 pounds


So there is no advantage.

A.B.E.
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14Smokem

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

With no ill will intended....

I am thinking this is not an issue.
If she were running in the top 10, some other
teams or Crew Chiefs would begin to question
rule adherence.

As it is there is no cause for concern, she is not
potentially blocking anybodies entry to the Chase.

JMO
1994 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Sprint Car Champion ** 1995 USAC Silver Crown Champion
1997 Indy Car Champion ** 2006 IROC Champion ** 2002 NASCAR Champion ** 2005 NASCAR Champion ** 2011 NASCAR Champion
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stuntguy13

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:58 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

I think the issue is NOT an advantage for Danica but a disadvantage. The reason being that even at the lowest driver weight of 140 where 40 lbs are added she is still 40 lbs less. That means that in order to get the same "grip" more aero downforce needs to be added to her car. The aero downforce increase the drag on her car and since they can't put more horsepower in, it slows her down on the straights and with less mechanical (total weight of car) grip she has to brake sooner in the corner.

Seems her Crew chief and the Chief engineer at SHR should be running some computer models that can test this stuff out to get her a car that is competitive. There is no doubt that if she has the car she can run up front. SHR lets get her the "good parts" not the leftovers, proper weight and let her race. She can win!!
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14Smokem

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:14 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Stunt guy.......

I have not recently read the Cup Rules... But as Anybody But Earnhardt stated
above..... There is a Minimum Weight......... AND... although I am sure there
is a Maximum weight limit............ NOTHING precludes the Crew Chief from
adding weight.

So......... If the Team feels they are at a disadvantage because of her weight,
they could add weight to overcome that..... and more.

I would hazard a guess they do not feel the light weight is a problem,
or they could and would add it.......... IN FACT....... they would then be
at an Advantage......... because...... they could add the weight anywhere
they want.........
1994 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Sprint Car Champion ** 1995 USAC Silver Crown Champion
1997 Indy Car Champion ** 2006 IROC Champion ** 2002 NASCAR Champion ** 2005 NASCAR Champion ** 2011 NASCAR Champion
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DaisyG.

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Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:16 am

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Nice post! Many people are texting and driving the same time knowing that this exercise is unsafe. Most states have texting while driving laws which stop it, but the DOT has thrown $550,000 toward researching whether such laws have an impact. I believe we can avoid accidents if we learn to follow the rules. Get more data
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stuntguy13

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Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:31 am

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

14Smokem,

I agree with what you say. I don't know if the teams read any of this stuff or if one of the engineers on the team would ever reply to us but on the off chance that they do look I thought an out of the box look at why Danica has been slower at some tracks might get some thinking going. I know these guys are suppose to be the Pros and know what they are doing. However, I am and engineer by training and also know that sometimes you get tunnel vision. The old "this is the way we did it for 10 years" syndrome.

Danica can drive these things if given the "good stuff" and she will win. Parts are not parts, there are always some that are really good, some are OK but some are outstanding, those are the ones she needs and the crew chief needs to make sure he gets them for her. She needs to have the "whole team" not just Tony, wanting to have her win. Tony needs to be checking that the engineering team is giving her (and him also) the good parts. Seems Kevin's team is able to give him the good stuff, need to share information better on this team.

For SHR as a business decision they need to recognize what her winning will do for the SHR team and NASCAR. When they get her running in the top 5 consistently on the mile and a half's it will start to pay off. GIVE HER THE GOOD STUFF.
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14Smokem

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Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Stunt guy.......

Yeah .... well.... geeze..... um......

She has a Car Chief, and Engineer (or 2), and a Crew Chief. Though some in
here think some of those are less than stellar, they are still top notch'ish.

All of those on the SHR crew interact with each other. They share information,
setups, parts, data, panel beaters, and on and on.

There is no attempt to make one car necessarily "better" than another.
If you think this to be true, simply look at Kevin's multitudinous break downs,
and the Boss's failure to win as proof of non-favoritism.

As an example........Trust that the when the crew walks up to the counter to
get a shock absorber of a certain setting.... The parts guy marches down the
row, to the shelf, and pulls the shock with the setting the crew chief desires.
If he has 6 of them, the CC can look over the dyno specs of all 6 and select
the exact one he feels might be slightly better.........

ALL of the Crew Chief's have the same option.

Please remember......... She is in her Sophomore year.....
Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish, AJ Allmendinger, Scott Speed,
Robby Gordon, John Andretti, Jacques Villaneuve, comprise
a pretty Hefty list of Major talent.............. who NEVER made it
in NASCAR...........

Ya know who has......?????????? Yup........Tony Stewart.......

So Danica fans..... rock back, relax, enjoy the ride, that lady (Danica)
is getting everything she needs...... AND MORE....... she is a cash cow.
These guys WANT her to succeed........ badly.... the longer she is around
the better she does... the more money she brings in.........

Racing is all about money......... she brings it.... they want her......

I mean REALLY........ Juan Pablo Montoya.... couldn't make the grade
Fer Gawds Sake..... Let Danica grow up in here (NASCAR)........!!!!

If you sense a form of frustration in this post........ yer right...!!!!!

Dammitt...... leave her alone... leave the dammed team alone.....
She will get there when she's supposed to..... IF she's supposed to.


Slowly steps off of Soap Box
1994 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Sprint Car Champion ** 1995 USAC Silver Crown Champion
1997 Indy Car Champion ** 2006 IROC Champion ** 2002 NASCAR Champion ** 2005 NASCAR Champion ** 2011 NASCAR Champion
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michaeljohn

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Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:24 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

if she doesnt make it in nascar, her fans will find fault with everyone but her, she should have stayed in the NW series longer, but oh well... even went to trucks to race, but oh well....money talks.... b.s. walks.
I miss you Frehley........
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stuntguy13

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Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

14Smokem,
Some how you seem to think I'm getting down on her, I am not and agree this is only her second season. She has been one of the best examples of how to enter a new area of a sport. She has shown great respect for others in the sport. I believe she is a great driver. Your example is exactly what I am talking about as far as parts go. I don't know how teams buy parts, if they pool the sponsor money and buy for all the teams or each team has their own. But depending upon which crew chief gets to the parts bin first he/she get the pick of the litter.

I know Tony has had his share of problems and that's why I always look at how the "team" does at any particular track. I believe that if the CC/engineers give the driver a car that can get to the top 5 consistently in a race then the drive takes it from there. If they can't produce the car to get there no driver can make the car run fast. So if it sounds like I'm getting on the CC/engineers -- I am. I agree they are giving it a good shot but Kevin's CC seems to be able to give him a fast car consistently (agreed he has had it break but it has been fast). Whatever they are doing has to get done by the rest of the teams.
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Anyone But Earnhardt

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Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Stunt Guy,

No attacks here, but I feel you are wrong. 14Smokem has it right. I have said this before and Love repeating it. She is a good looking woman that brings sponsors and more women to the sport. Any team would kill to have here. She brings in more sponsor money then she does damage to her cars so SHR doesn't really care.

In all honesty. She is with a great team full of Talent. However, she is only a test pilot to gather info for the 3 contenders. Kurt and Kevin have wins, Tony is getting close. I honestly do not think that she will ever win in Cup. I would like to see it though and think it would be fantastic for everyone. Let's be honest. It comes down to talent and yes it does matter when a driver gets into the top five. For example, Martinsville, JJ was class of the field until it counted. Kurt Busch a SHR teammate wheeled that car to a win. He was lucky to have a second place finish but used everything he had to get that win and yes even the bumper. Kevin's win in Darlington is another. Not just anyone passes on the outside for the win but his skills did. Both are SHR drivers!!!!

Back to driver weight to prove another point. It doesn't matter. I already told everyone from the rules provided by NASCAR.COM So, here we go. Anyone remember Mr. Excitement? Yes Jimmy Spencer, not saying he was the best but he was a heavy man. Also, anyone ever hear of Mark Martin? In 2013, Mark was listed as 125lbs. of pure old guy who still had the talent to win until Logano shoved him out of the way at Pocano. What do all of these guys have? WINS!

Ok, i'm done, but if ricky ever breaks up wit her, I would bet there in a minute to pick up the pieces since MJ stole Danielle Trotta from me.

Anyone But Earnhardt
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michaeljohn

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:33 am

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

its never her fault, people are out to sabotage her career.....
I miss you Frehley........
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stuntguy13

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:43 am

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Anyone But Earnhardt & MichaelJohn,

I don't know if you are engineers but I strongly disagree. First weight does matter as it applies to mechanical down force and it is the job of the CC and engineer to understand how to get the most grip with the least aero (drag) which only Kevin's team has figured out. Granted SHR may be trying different approaches for later in the season but so far they are not showing that they have the right stuff for the other teams. Second, parts are not parts. If I were a sponsor I would have my own person checking what the quality of parts were that are going to my team not just a pool of parts. Third, Danica is an excellent race car driver. At the beginning of last year they wanted to make a statement and gave her the car to do it - she did her part and put it on the pole at Daytona. When you see her line compared to Jeff Gordon's you see she was just a little tighter and that was driver skill. No driver can make up for equipment that isn't close - just look at both Tony and Kurt, then look at Jimmy Johnson's team.

Bottom line is that SHR needs to step up and get this stuff right.
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Anyone But Earnhardt

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:02 am

Re: Car weight vs downforce vs speed

Stunt Guy,

3 of 8 races won by SHR. Not to bad if they have not as great equipment as you seem to be saying. So therefore it must be the guys driving?

Once again, Aero and Grip for Danica is not affected by her weight. If she weighs 100lbs and the minimum is 180 lbs. Then 100lbs. of Danica + 80 pounds of weight mandated by NASCAR = 180LBS. Her crew chief may be at fault. But if she could keep it out of the wall and other cars then the grip and aero would be there.

As far as Danica on the Pole @ Daytona. (HA HA HA mind was in the gutter.) Anyway, have you ever seen Days of Thunder? Rowdy tells Cole to get his own car and see how he does in a crowd. Danica in a crowd tends to lead to bad things.

As far as skill goes, she can drive, but I predicted before the season started that Larson and Dillion would beat her in the points. SO Far I'm right. And she has way more races then Larson does in any NASCAR series. Heck 2 years ago he was running sprint cars.

I am not hating on her. Just using the eye test from week to week. I wish her well and good luck to her and all her fans, Keep rooting that fine woman on. Like I said I would love to see her win. Just do not think it will happen, and I hope that I am wrong.

A.B.E.
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