After a couple of years under the mantra, don?t change anything, NASCAR is changing things because it finally realized that it doesn?t pay to stop changing after you?ve become something people hate. I am talking about one thing in particular: booty.
NASCAR is going to do away with the wing and everyone but me says good riddance. I for one will miss the wing dearly; not for its looks or charm, but for practicality. Air can travel over and under a wing which gives it the ability to produce lots of downforce while making relatively little drag compared to a spoiler. Spoilers produce a lot of drag because they can only deflect air up and away from the rest of the vehicle. Drag is a double-edge sword in stock car racing. At Talladega, drag will help set up a slingshot pass. At Las Vegas, drag will deflect air away from the front of your car reducing front downforce (aka aeropush). And while aeropush has only been discussed openly in the last decade, it has been around for the last three decades (but only understood recently). A spoiler on the COT is only going to make bad racing worse.
There is (of course) a safety aspect to be addressed. There is this omnipresent notion that the wing causes cars to become airborne if they spin near 200mph. I want to remind everyone of two important facts:
1. Stock cars have been getting airborne without wings for decades.
2. A spoiler would be designed to make just as much downforce as a wing and thus would produce just as much lift in reverse.
I think it is likely that when a spoiler bearing car spins, the spoiler will block the flow of air over the decklid and create a low pressure area that will make as much lift (if not more) than the wing.
Now to be fair, NASCAR will also increase the window fin size and lower the body work around the rear bumper to increase drag when in reverse. These will keep cars on the ground better than any spoiler or wing.
Being me, I cannot bring attention to a problem without offering a solution to it. My idea is as radical as I hope it is effective: no more aerodynamic devices on the car. I want to eliminate the spoiler/wing and any appendage below the bumpers. I want a flat undertray beneath the car from bumper to bumper. It will make enough downforce to be safe in a straight line, and it?ll keep making downforce (not lift) in a spin.
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