Tag Archives: NASCAR Cup

Wild, dramatic race today and no game

Getting the personal stuff out of the way first, we were missing the GM again and had a player out because of family stuff, so we couldn’t play today. Still waiting to find out what my stats are and how much downtime we had to take in-game to get those stats. That information resides with the GM and he did not feel up to joining the group today. I don’t know if he was just under the weather, or not wanting to be social because of work, or not wanting to be part of the group anymore.

Now to the race, there was a Cup race on the road course at Indy and it was a barn burner. It was a good race until the steel curbs marking the edges of the track where it crossed the streets inside the oval started coming up there were several caution flags to repair the curb at turn 6 and eventually a red flag to stop the race completely to remove the curb from the corner after it wrecked a bunch of cars. The first few cars in line the drivers could see the problem and avoid it but further back than 3rd in line of a pack the drivers couldn’t see the damaged curbing at all and the damage basically ripped bodywork and suspension parts clear off the cars. I’m hoping the replacements for next year are something that doesn’t stick up and wreck the cars when it gets damaged by repeatedly getting run over or is tall enough that running it over causes the cars to get upset enough to discourage curb jumping so it doesn’t get damaged. What would be best would be concrete and make it so that people drive in the street and not on the track when there’s not a road course race going on. The temporary curbs also caused problems with both of yesterday’s races, but not to the extent they did today.

Speaking of yesterday’s races the Xfinity race had a bigtime problem with an outside curb because on restarts they were still 2 wide coming through that corner and cars were getting forced wide and over the curb and crashing out. That curb was removed before today’s Cup race which was good because the same thing would have happened if they hadn’t removed the curb because they were 2 or 3 wide coming through the same corner on every restart with the Cup cars. Also yesterday during the Indycar race there was a bit of drama as the points leader for the series had what looked like the connecting rods trying to escape the engine, complete with an oil fire in the back of the car as the oil escaped through the same holes in the engine the connecting rods went through. This is the second engine in two weeks this guy has had problems with, but not to the same extent as yesterday.

Speaking of running over curbs, that’s something the Sprint-T should be good at particularly the kind they have at permanent road courses like they had yesterday and today. Regular curbs not so much, but still unless it hits at a bad angle and damages the tie rod it could drive over regular curbs also.

Racing was good on TV, real life not so much

The NASCAR Cup race was good, the Indycar race was good, and the IMSA race was good. All the races on TV were good to watch.

Real life could have been better, we had to cancel the game because so many people woke up with gastric distress of one kind or another. Stomach aches or other things like barfing and/or uncontrollable pooping. It was ungood.

There are still 3 days to help me win an engine from POWERNATION and yes the name is in all caps like a Donny Trump tweet. I’m still 10 friends short of the maximum 10 friends.

Speaking of gastric distress, I just finished cleaning up from a bout with it. Serious mess. Yuck.

Good racing today, good game yesterday

There were two races at the same time on TV today, the Cup race from Richmond, and the Indycar race from Barber Motorsports Park. There was a lot of good, close racing from both. Likewise there was a lot of driving around in circles from both. You have to take the bad with the good. I was happy to see the 48 win again in Cup, not so happy that Bowman won. Never was a big fan of Bowman. Scott Dixon I’m more ambivalent about. Good driver, but he wins too much. I know that’s the point, but I’m enjoying the parity in NASCAR too much, 9 races and 8 winners.

In the Shadowrun game we finished the rescue of the troll girl who may have been turning into a technomage, and despite our best efforts the building is still standing and mostly usable. Actually things went pear-shaped when one of the technicians with the troll girl recognized our mage, and the code phrase “pink mohawk” went out which was my cue to get active and I got my MGL12 grenade launcher in use. We needed to get through the front (and only) door and I hit the limits of the weapon on my roll and then hit the limits of the amount of damage my grenade could do, and then the door wasn’t there anymore.

Our mages did battle on the etherial plane against Bound Spirits protecting the facility, while our hackers blocked communication with the outside while making it look like everything was totally “normal”. It was a good thing that I packed a shit ton of HE grenades because the guards were wearing tank-like armor and I needed at least one and sometimes two grenades to take them out of the fight. until I got slammed by an air spirit throwing air boulders at me. Not the actual term, but I was attacked around midnight our time (1500 or so in-game) so my memory of actual terminology is a little vague. But anyway I was pounding the guards inside the building with grenade after grenade and whittling down their numbers one by one after I found out I needed to score a direct hit to cause damage even with a HE grenade set to explode on impact. Fortunately I have extremely high ranks in all kinds of firearms up to and including light field artillery so hitting my targets has become almost a given unless I roll a glitch, which is the Shadowrun version of a Natural 1 on the D20. So I was getting rid of the guards on almost every shot even with distractions like -4 on all rolls because of injury from the Air Spirit (and incidentally one of our mages cast a spell that let the rest of us do damage to the spirits, so I popped a couple of grenades at the Air Spirit so that it would leave me alone). Eventually we defeated the guards and freed the troll girl from the equipment that they were trying to figure out if she was really becoming a technomage. We looted the lab of some of the more interesting and portable equipment, took the troll girl back to our Mr. Johnson, got our money and Karma, and will not have another session until after the local Faire season is over first week of June.

And a pork-based counterpart to the FSM, the United Church of Bacon. Time for bed, this has been an exciting day.

Good racing, bad allergies

Yesterday I watched the Camping World Truck Series and the Cup Series from The Bristol Dirt. Much better this time around without the excess moisture on the track. The races were supposed to be run on Saturday and Sunday with heat races setting the lineup, but a drenching storm system basically drowned the track both days causing the heat races to be cancelled and the mains to be set based on the formula that has been used to set the starting order since Daytona. Running both races in one afternoon/evening did put the shortcomings of dirt over concrete on display, as the track surface was really rough by the end of the 250 lap Cup race following the 100 lap truck race.

By the end of the Cup race there were holes in the surface big enough to pretty much swallow one of the Goodyear bias-ply dirt tires. Which was another major change for this race, going back to bias-ply tires instead of the steel-belted radials they have been using since the end of the Tire Wars of the 1980s. The consensus was from data gathered running the truck series at Eldora that the radial was too stiff to get good racing on dirt, particularly when the track got rough. Racing on dirt requires more compliance in the sidewall than asphalt or concrete, and Goodyear’s engineers just could not get a radial that would stay together and be compliant enough to get good grip and last with the Cup Series engines and suspensions. The CWTS racers have less than 2/3 of the unrestricted Cup Series cars horsepower and running radials at Eldora had racers that couldn’t use full power except for the last third of the straights and that lost control at the high yaw angles usually associated with dirt racing. Basically the radials acted like they were on a dusty paved track and did not develop any side or forward bite into the dirt surface. But Goodyear did have bias-ply tires that made good grip on dirt for racing dirt late models, so the one that was closest to the Cup Series pavement slick dimensions was used to develop the tire for the trucks and Cup Series at Bristol. Basically all three of the NASCAR top touring divisions are built to use the same tire so that Goodyear only has to supply one tire for events running more than just the Cup Series.

Now the racing was good, lots of beating and banging as is the norm for stock cars (and trucks) on dirt. Martin Truex Jr. outlasted everyone to win the Camping World Truck Series race, while Joey Logano did the same for the Cup Series race. Basically the race was won by the cars that were in the best condition at the end of the race. I think for next year both series will go with softer springs and greater ride height to make sure they have enough travel to keep the tires in contact with the track. What’s going to be real fun is when the next generation of Cup cars running the 18″ wheel and tire package and 4 wheel independent suspension runs the dirt. Will they go back to 15″ wheels for Bristol Dirt so everybody gets the same tire? As I’m reading it right now, they are going to keep this year’s car for the next dirt race because there is zero development on the next year’s car for racing on dirt, especially with the rear suspension. Straight axles have been scienced out pretty well and are well-understood for getting the power to the track. The only racing format that races on dirt and has independent rear suspension is the off-road buggies, and they have zero in common with stock cars. In fact the off-road vehicles closest to stock cars, that are allowed to run any type of suspension are trucks and they use close to the same suspension as the current Cup Series cars in the back. They have more locating links/arms than the Truck Arms used by Cup series cars, but the basic axle is nearly identical to what is run by late model dirt racers that are forbidden to run IRS. If IRS gave an advantage running in dirt like IFS does you can believe the off-road trucks would have adapted the uprights and axles from their fronts to the rear suspension.

Now on the other topic in the headline, trees are having sex in public and it’s getting all up in everyone’s faces, literally. I’m getting frequent white-outs from goop covering the cornea that I can’t see through and takes several blinks to clear away enough to see what I’m doing. If you think typing without looking at the keys is hard, try typing when you can’t look at the keys or the screen. That is all kinds of no fun at all. Makes proofreading interesting too.

Game fizzled out today, but the Cup race was good

I managed to get up in time to do the game today but I did get to watch a decent race from Vegas. The game didn’t work out because of bad communication, one of our players does Scarborough Faire part-time and they had some pre-season setup to do today, that they thought would get knocked out by noon and back home to eat and then play by 1500. They didn’t get finished until 1600, and everybody decided that when they didn’t get logged into the game chat by 1530 the game was SNAFU and logged out. The race was a constant back and forth, but eventually Kyle Larson managed to stay in the lead after pit stop strategy played out. Interesting part of that strategy was leaving Daniel Suarez out until he was leading the race and on the camera as the leader, several times, to get his sponsor as much airtime as possible. This got the sponsor, Camping World who also sponsor the Camping World Truck series, several minutes of airtime that driving to a top 10 finish would not have gotten, which is about as good as they could get from the car.

Other news, I finally got to sign up for a COVID shot, thanks to evolving rules about co-morbidities. And the really stupid thing is the vascular damage I got from the wreck wasn’t the thing that got me qualified, it was my high blood pressure. The vascular damage moved me up the line a bit, but wasn’t enough to get me on the list. What did it was high BP controlled with medication. Also I’m on the list for an experimental COVID vaccine, which might get me jabbed quicker, so I have options now. Also Mrs. the Poet’s arm was only slightly impaired for a couple of days, but the word on the internets is the second jab is the one that does you in, so we still have that to look forward to /s.

On the Sprint-T build, it’s a good thing I didn’t weld those brackets to the front axle yet. I did a little figuring and the way I had been planning on doing it would have resulted in the 4-bar links passing through the radiator tanks. This would be plus ungood for driving. The new plan is to put the inside edge of the inside bracket on the 31" ℄ mark, which moves the links 3/4" ± further out and just clears the radiator. On a related note there is some kind of funky interpretation of the double quote mark from the composing software that when I enter from the keyboard I get unpredictable results. Sometimes I get a simple double quotes, sometimes I get opening double quotes, and sometimes I get closing double quotes. It’s slightly insane. The only way to get the same character every time is to use the HTML for the quotation mark (""")

Another note on the Sprint-T build, I’m still trying to work out that side brace that runs over the top of the cage and also acts as the top bar of the space frame, running from the front top spring mount to the rear of the frame since the rear top spring mount is on the rear hoop of the cage. I was thinking about having the two hoops front and rear and then putting two hoops, one on each side to handle the front to back loads. Problem is while that simplifies the bracing it greatly complicates the load paths. I mean there is a hoop running front to back next to the hoop running side to side and how are they attached to each other? Structurally it is a very mixed bag with lots of stiffness in the vertical mode, and dubious stiffness in torsion mode. Essentially this puts a hinge on front and rear hoops for twisting loads. Translated from structural speak that means crushing loads are well-resisted so my head is probably safe in a roll-over, but the thing I’m making the frame this way for in the first place is not what I had hoped for. So, back to the drawing board. I really need to get my CAD program knowledge up to snuff, because I know it will calculate what I need to know once I figure out what to tell it to draw. Basically I have the radius of the bender, and I know the brace will have to be tangent to that radius projected from the top of the front and rear hoops to the front spring mount and the rear end of the frame, respectively. The top of the side brace runs parallel to the tops of the hoops until it goes past the hoops, which is where the bend starts. Lots of words to describe a simple tube with two bends. And if I could figure out how to tell my CAD program what I just wrote I would be flying.

Is it over yet?

Everyone I know is cautiously peeking through the figurative bunker door hoping against hope that the election is over and that Trump is going to accept the results. Mrs. the Poet is celebrating a little early, I think. I’m still not taking full breaths yet.

What I have been doing is going over the Sprint-T front bulkhead over and over, looking for places to reduce weight/increase rigidity. I haven’t come up with much, as I have gone through this process hundreds of times already. Basically I’m going through and seeing if there is a way to beat the “choose two out of three” dilemma from the “cheap, strong, light” triad by changing size of the structural members. And I’ve got it down to “it depends on where the volume discount starts”, on the price difference between the sizes of the raw stock. Because of the SCCA rules I have to make some parts out of 1.5″ diameter 0.120″ wall DOM round stock, but the rest of the car I can make from 0.060″ wall, which will be more than enough if I use corrosion prevention to maintain wall thickness. But I can save weight even more by using smaller diameter stock for bracing, up to a point. 

Some of the bracing will be easier and cheaper to make as an extension of the main frame members using the 1.5″ diameter 0.060″ wall stock, but some will be lighter/strong enough if I use 1″ diameter 0.060″ wall tubing. It’s basically a case of which is cheaper when I buy the stock, meaning I need to get both choices fully designed down to the BOM. 

And I’m starting to fade, and have problems seeing, after a very exciting championship race for the NASCAR Cup, with congratulations going out to Chase Elliot. Chase wasn’t who I was rooting for, but with the way he won his way into the Four, and the way he dominated the race after getting moved to the back after failing his first two trips through tech, I concede his worthiness, especially when my choice finished 4th out of the four. Denny Hamlin is still the best active driver to never win a championship, a distinction I hope he loses soon next year.

No game this week, again

Family tragedy struck one of the players in our group as her father-in-law died a few days before game. Also, I have been beset by allergies that have really upset my sleep cycle as my sleep aid is just a double-strength allergy pill, minus the buffers. So, instead of putting me to sleep, it just clears up my nose and eyes for the night until it wears off. I was awake after 0700 this morning even though I put myself to bed by 0500.

I ended up sleeping through most of the race today, but I did manage to tune in for the last 20 or so laps, watching Kevin Harvick chase Joey Logano and almost catch him until Joey used dirty air or lapped cars to slow him down to keep Harvick from passing. It was a master class on how to defend a lead in a Cup race. I’m not a fan of Logano, but I do give credit where credit is due, and Joey drove his butt off keeping Harvick at bay.

No progress has been made in the Sprint-T redesign. I have all the major pieces in place, and until I can get some raw stock, which is really hard to come by these days because of the one-two punch of tariffs and COVID19, I really can’t build anything. Even in the case that I was able to find the raw stock, the combination of the stock thickness and having tools sized for bicycle building and not hot rods leaves me with stock with the dimensions laid out but no way to cut and drill to the sizes needed and make the part. It is frustrating to have drills that won’t handle drill bits over 3/8″ when the smallest hole is just under 1/2″ and the big hole is 9/16″ to allow for the thread depth of the bolts and the tap that cuts the thread so those bolts can screw into the part. It’s a combination of lack of power in the motors and the chucks just not being physically big enough to hold the larger drill bits. And for my cutting tools the 1/4″ thickness is pushing the limits of the equipment because when I bought the tools years ago when I was building bicycles 3mm (1/8″) steel or 5mm aluminum was the heaviest stock I was going to ever cut. Building hot rods wasn’t even on my mind. Let’s just say I was in a bit of a state over cars since someone tried to kill me with one, actually several someones tried several times with varying degrees of success, but nobody actually killed me thank [$DEITY]. So for most of this century since the wreck, I have had varying degrees of antipathy about cars.

OK, let me take inventory of tools, parts and raw stock that I need to complete the Sprint-T. I need something that can make square or mitered cuts in stock at least 1/4″ thick in mild or chrome-moly steel. I need a drill press that can handle 3/4″ holes in the 1/4″ steels, and up to 1/2″ thick in aluminum. I need a welder that will weld over 1/4″ thick steel, and that will weld aluminum. I mean I can use oxy-hydrogen to weld aluminum now, but that is a very tricky technique for someone with cataracts to work with, and I’m not sure that it didn’t contribute to giving me cataracts in the first place. Anyway, after the tools I need lots of raw stock, DOM or chrome-moly seamless tubing in 1.5″ diameter and 0.120″ (7 sticks) and 0.060″ (5 sticks) wall thickness, some 1.25″ diameter DOM and 0.120″ (2 sticks) wall for making the tie rod, drag link, panhard rod, and the torque arm. Also needed is a metric buttload of hardware to connect things that have to be able to move in relation to other things, in various sizes from 3/4″ fine thread (pretty big) to 4-40 (tee-niny).

It’s getting late, so I’m wishing you a good night and pleasant dreams.

Well, that was quite a race!

It didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to, but wow! what a race on the Roval at Charlotte. It was raining at the start, then stopped, then eventually got sunny leading to a track that was tricky to drive every lap. And tricky to drive leads to exciting racing.

I’m not going to lie, my guys didn’t win, and they were in a “points below the cutoff line in a cutoff race” situation. Those were Clint Bowyer, who is retiring at the end of the season, and Kyle Busch the reigning champ. Clint I just wanted to see have a shot at the championship in his last season, because he’s always been a good driver and also a good person from what I can tell. Kyle just didn’t get a fair chance this year because of the rules changes caused by the Stupid Virus. Kyle’s style is to make the car perfect in practice, and there was no practice this season after the Stupid Virus. My problem was they can’t both win, and the only way for both to go to the next round was for the 88 car to blow the engine on the pace lap or similar and Clint and Kyle to finish 1-2 in that order. Did I mention I don’t particularly like the driver of the 88?

In other news, I’m still evolving the mount for the steering box and changing the front bulkhead in the process. I decided the car would be faster if I made the bellypan all the way across the car to the outside edge of the fender, which meant I needed to do something to support the leading edge around the front tires. Since the front tires would get pretty close to going parallel to the front axle, I subtracted the diameter of the street tires from the axle width to come up with 31″ clearance at full lock, which just happens to be the same width as the radiator. Which means the extension of the front frame rail really needs to be on both sides of the car, making the bottom of the front bulkhead way wider than the original design of a point at the bottom intersecting the main frame rails also coming to a point.

The new bulkhead is radically different. Where there was a straight tube across the top from one shock mount to the other with a tube from each shock mount to the center V-point and some internal bracing to prevent flex, the new design has a straight bottom tube that runs across the intersection of the main frame rails to the rail extensions spaced 31″ across outside to outside, and a tube from that intersection to the shock mounts and another horizontal tube across to support the downforce-generating nosepiece from underneath so it doesn’t need to be cut and fitted around the bulkhead, and is way easier to install and remove for maintaining the steering, and has the secondary effect of making as much downforce as the nosepiece can make. This upper tube will be 31″ wide and the vertical from the extension to the upper tube will also act as the mount for the steering box. And then there will be another tube from that intersection to the shock mount, triangulating the mount, and a tube from the intersection of the upper bar and the vertical from the extension to the point where the main frame rails intersect with each other and the front bulkhead to triangulate the steering box mount and the place where the load from the shock mounts feeds into.

I really need to draw this out and show what I’m writing about, because while there are a lot of words, there are not a lot of tubes involved, only 10 total in the front bulkhead, and just 6 more that intersect it. Which sounds super complicated, but not so much when I visualize it. I just wish my hands worked better and I had the tools and the paper to draw it like I see it. But if wishes were horses we would all ride everywhere. And that is a saying that predates bicycles it’s so old.

And I didn’t finish my statement about supporting the front of the bellypan. Well I need to establish the swept curve of the tires moving to lock between straight ahead and the tire parallel to the axle, which is a fancy way to say I need to trace out the curve of the outer corner of the tire tread, all the way until the tire is at right angles to straight ahead, and then copy that curve on a tube roller (which I still have from building bicycles) on a chunk of light 1.5″ tube. That will be the leading edge of the bellypan from behind the tire to the frame.

I will have other tubes on the outside edge to support the bellypan all the way to the edge so I can use it as a step to get in the car, and so that any downforce it generates goes all the way to the suspension like good ground effects. I already know that there will only be a tiny amount of downforce even on the freeway, but I want every ounce I can get.

I was also thinking about the A-Mod car because I had an allergy attack that made me sleepy so I went to bed, but then wouldn’t let me sleep. So I stared at the shadows on the ceiling and planned the Next-To-No-Car-There-Car. Basically just enough frame and body to hold a body to the right of center with outriggers to mount coilovers and the bits to hold the left side of the suspension in place, and a big empty space to be filled with a motorcycle engine that gets moved from side to side to balance the body in the part of the car designed to carry the body. That’s about as far as I can get without drawing tools and paper.

So, that’s what happens when I have too much time to think, and there’s a really good race on the next morning.