An idea just popped into my head

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An idea just popped into my head

Post by crl on Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:24 am

How do you think it would look if, at some of the bigger tracks, like Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, California, Chicago, Kansas, etc., where you have a big paved space below the line on the backstretch leading to the inside wall, they were to install gravel traps? One pro I can think of is, it would be cost effective for teams, since there would be a better chance of the car slowing to a stop before hitting the wall. Let's hear what you guys think.

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Re: An idea just popped into my head

Post by Mystrsyko on Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:00 am

Um, the biggest problem with gravel/sand traps is that big, tall, heavy stock cars tend to dig in and roll. At higher speeds, like the 2+ mile tracks, there's actually a decent chance of the gravel kicking the leading side of the car high enough to get air underneath, which could lead to more blowovers, or cars lifting and coming down awkwardly and digging in. The main reason the areas are paved was that when they were grass it meant that a driver had almost no control once they were in it. I believe there is a video of a crash at Tally when Mike Skinner drove into the grass to block somebody, and spun around, while going perfectly straight.

The benefit of the paved areas is that it allows the driver to slow the car with the brakes and still have an attempt at keeping it away from the wall. On a road course, gravel is best, because of the higher liklihood of a car losing its brakes and going straight on. At an oval, there is very little in the way of perpendicular motion between a car and the wall, so slowing it down isn't as necessary.

Now, at a short track like Bristol or Martinsville, I can see this working wonderfully. The cars should be slow enough to not roll over as often or as violently, and probably not make it to the inside wall, even though it's significantly closer than the walls at bigger tracks.

It's still a fun little thought experiment though. It's good to see that other fans like to think of different ways to improve racetrack design Very Happy
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Re: An idea just popped into my head

Post by crl on Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:15 am

It would never work at Bristol or Martinsville, because at Bristol, the spaces between the very inside of the concrete racing line and the wall on both straightaways are too narrow; and at Martinsville, you run the risk of taking away the inside line on the straights out of the corners.

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