Those who can remember things from four months ago should recall NASCAR's suggestion at reducing horsepower in Sprint Cup engines. Such persons should also recall how Cup Series drivers universally rejected this suggestion, and how NASCAR suddenly became very quiet about it. Persons with very long memory may recall a similar process when the common template was first proposed. NASCAR recently started testing "concepts for a 2015 rule change," of which I'm sure we can extrapolate the meaning. As reduced speeds seem inevitable, I have a solution that should slow down the cars on the straights and in the corners, without reducing horsepower.
NASCAR presented a more relaxed rule book for this year where ride height rules were no longer enforced. This decision appears based on two simple principals:
1. A stock car produces maximum front downforce with its nose on the ground.
2. Cars at the back of a pack don't have enough air on their noses to keep those noses to the ground.
I think this has improved the racing more than any changes to the Chase format. Getting stuck in traffic is not a death sentence this year. I want to take this a step further, while solving the issue of excessive speed.
I propose adding blocks to the nose of each car, behind the splitter (and concealed entirely by bodywork.) These blocks should be 1-2 inches (25.4-50.8 millimeters) lower than the splitter, and should not be allowed to wear more than 0.0625 inches* (1.5875 millimeters) in a race or qualifying session.
*That is 1/16 of an inch for the fractionally minded.
Making these blocks lower than the splitter makes it impossible for the splitter to touch or get closer than 1 inch to the track surface. With the splitter off the ground, downforce will be lost, which reduces cornering speeds, and air will hit the high-drag underside of a stock car, which reduces top speed. A possible side effect may be an increase in airflow under the car, reducing aero-push and cockpit temperatures.
What expensive and unobtainable material do I plan to make these blocks with? I was planning on just bolting wood to the bumper bars. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic could also be used, being the same material from which the splitters are made. Titanium would be expensive, but it makes for pretty sparks if NASCAR is only considering the "show" factor.
It should be noted that most classes with aerodynamic splitters do not need them to run along the ground. This is because they run smooth undertrays that look like this.
The underside of a stock car has nothing to obscure the frame rails, exhaust pipes, driveshaft, axle housing, and suspension so it looks like this.
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