The Physics of NASCAR: How to Make Steel + Gas + Rubber = Speed
To understand what is happening on the track and in the garage, you need either a crash course in aerodynamics or the guidance of The Physics of NASCAR by Dr. Leslie-Pelecky.
Having caught, by chance, the broadcast of a multi-car NASCAR crash on television, Nebraska University physics professor Leslie-Pelecky found herself compelled to understand why it happened.
Soon, a growing list of scientific questions ("How do you build an engine...that can run at 9,000 rpm for three hours without blowing up?") steer her to meetings with engineers, ground crews and drivers who work together "at the limits of what we understand about aerodynamics, structural engineering and even human physiology."
The first part of The Physics of NASCAR deals with materials, and looks at how combustion, power and aerodynamics work together to maximize speed.
But ultimately, it's the driver and his crew who win the race, and Leslie-Pelecky gets plenty of time with the men behind the machines, joining Ray Evernham's crew to watch him race, and taking a turn behind the wheel herself.
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