April 16, 2010, Newsletter Issue #174: Getting a Handle of the Handling

Tip of the Week

Part of the science of NASCAR is getting the proper set-up on a racecar prior to the race. Having the right set-up will ensure that the racecar is getting as much speed as possible.

If the team’s right, then when the racecar hits the track for the first practice, they will be at or near the top of the speed charts. If not, then they may have a long weekend ahead of them. Teams will use notes from previous races and the experience of the driver or the crew chief to try and get the best chassis set-up they can before they hit the track.

Wedge is the primary method crews use to correct a ‘loose’ or ‘tight’ condition on a racecar. During practices or a pit stop a crewmember will insert a long wrench through a hole in the rear window and manually rotate the rear spring one way or another. This is known adding or subtracting wedge, tightening or loosening the spring. Another way to correct handeling that crew will use is by adjusting air pressure in the tires.

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