All three series have one more trip out West for the year. While the haulers make the long trek to Phoenix, we’ve got another question and answer post for you. If you don’t know what this post is, until further notice, we will be answering any and all reader questions every Wednesday, right here. So if you’ve got one, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send one to us. On to the questions…
1. From Savannah:
Hey Guys, does the COT become airborne in accidents more than the old style car? In several wrecks, the cars seem to be flipping more than the older car. Does the wing on the back of the car cause it to loose the downforce and then the flipping starts? I am just curious. I apologize if you have already responded to this type of question in the past.
I’ll be honest with you, I can’t really give you a great explanation of this. Diandra over at Stock Car Science though does have a good explanation of why this is occurring with seemingly more frequency. By the way Stock Car Science is a great blog; the woman who writes it, wrote The Physics of NASCAR. – Journo
2. From Doug in CA:
I was reading about tire testing at Daytona. How much tire testing goes on? Do Cup drivers participate in most? Very little? It seems to me that there are plenty of drivers out there who don’t have rides (Blaney, Riggs, Raines etc.) who would appreciate picking up a few bucks for running laps for Goodyear. Why do busy guys like Johnson or Busch do this job?
It happens a few times a year. Goodyear will pick certain tracks they need to work on, and go from there. Tire testing happens for the Cup cars the most, but it does happen for the other series too. The thing to remember about driver participation, is that Goodyear doesn’t supply the cars. Teams show up with all of their own equipment, So out of work guys wouldn’t really do Goodyear any good. Guys like Jimmie and Kyle will do it because it allows them to learn, and to help their teams learn. Especially now with the testing ban, any extra track time is a huge positive for a team and driver. – T.C.
3. From Blair:
Sitting here watching the race and though I’m a little tickled at the fact that Jimmie Johnson is stuck in the garage it has made me wonder. As far as the car goes, what all can be changed during the race as far as engine pieces and all that? Obviously you can’t change the original chassis but what all can you change? Or maybe the easier list would be what can’t you change? Thanks guys! Love reading your blogs!
Outside of replacing the car (chassis) and engine, everything is pretty much fair game. Rear ends, suspension, body, really anything else is okay to work on. – T.C.
4. From Scott:
Hey Guys, following Jimmy Johnson’s big wreck on Sunday his crew really pulled together and did great work to get his car back out there. Clearly this shows part of the reason that he is in position to win another championship and highlights the team aspect of NASCAR, which I don’t think gets enough coverage. However, with all the parts being changed I was wondering about a couple of things. I heard during the race that you can change just about everything except the motor and NASCAR lets you back on the track for your attempt to get back up to speed. What I’m wondering is this, what allowances does NASCAR provide for how the car measures up in post race testing? While its doubtful that after that type of crash a car would havea competitive downforce advantage is this something NASCAR checks? As always, great website, great columns and commentaries, love Ask Wednesdays, keep up the great work!
Post race inspection usually only happens to the top five (I think) and a random. So unless NASCAR decided to be ridiculous, a team in a situation like Jimmie’s won’t have to go through tech after the race. There is no point in checking a team for cheating when they were a few seconds off the pace, 120 laps down. – T.C.
5. From windowlicker:
Hey guys. During the Busch race at Texas, a car (I think it was Justin Allgaier) came out after a wreck with no front end. NASCAR black flagged him for not maintaining minimum speed. He went back in they did something & he came back out & finished the race. I thought once you got black flagged for not maintaining speed, NASCAR parked you. You didn’t get a second chance.
I think that was his one chance. The car comes out of the garage, NASCAR sees it doesn’t make minimum speed, then you are allowed one chance to make it right. That is how I always understood it. When a car is wrecked and comes out of the garage, the team doesn’t really know what it has to work with. If the rule is as I understand it, NASCAR gives the driver and team one chance to feel it out and make the car better. – T.C.
6. From J and D:
After seeing some of the recent wrecks in NASCAR races, we got to wondering: when a car is torn up badly but still able to finish a race, how on Earth do they pass post-race inspection? We’ve seen some cars with no front ends, jacked-up rears and much more. What’s left to measure?
Like I said above, unless a wrecked car finishes top five, they won’t be inspected after the race. Once a car is wrecked and goes many laps down, there really is no point in inspecting them. – T.C.
7. From Red Kneck:
Why does Marcos Ambrose’s 47 car have yellow rookie stripes but is not listed in the Rookie of the Year Standings?
It’s because he ran too many races last season to run for the Rookie of the Year Award (11 in 2008), but he is still considered a rookie (hence the rookie stripe). – Journo
8. From Michael:
I know racing in general money is money no matter the funding entity. However, do guys like Conway, Nemechek (Extenze) & Martin (when he was sponsored by Viagra) face much ribbing in the garage area?
Yes, absolutely. I would say the crew guys are the ones that face the majority of the ribbing though. Can you imagine walking around the garage with Extenze or Viagra on your chest? I’m just glad it’s not me. – Journo
9. From Christopher:
During the Texas Sprint Cup race, we all saw the shots from the hour or so the 48 team was re-building Johnson’s car. It seemed that Jimmy stayed in the car the entire time. Is this normal? Is there any reason- knowing it was going to take awhile- that Jimmy wouldn’t have gotten out? Maybe to help- or at least take a stretch?
In this situation I think Jimmie was trying to make a point that he was committed to going back out. Likewise he was still very much in that zone, so I think he wanted to avoid distractions like the media. Generally, I would say whether or not a driver stays in the car depends on the driver and the situation. -Journo
And that brings yet another “Ask The Insiders Wednesday” to a close. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. And remember, if you’d like to be a part of next week, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send your question in!