Optimizing a NASCAR Racing Machine

NASCAR is the most popular motorsport competition in the USA. The three largest racing-series are the Sprint Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 of the 50 US states, as well as in Canada, and its races are broadcast in over 150 countries.

Initially only modified large scale series vehicles were used for NASCAR. Today’s NASCAR vehicles are racing cars with a V8 engine and up to 800 horsepower, but restricted in compliance to the applicable regulations. Only the car body silhouette resembles a series car. The cars are subjected to strict regulations, for example a limited size for the rear spoiler, the chassis material thickness or allowed production processes for the engine cylinders. It is normal practice that winning team cars are dismantled by NASCAR officials after a race to check for any irregularities. The car performances are almost equivalent. There are only a few rare opportunities to gain any technical advantage. This leads to the teams needing to find ways of making small gains wherever they can to improve their performance.

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