Photo from Dispatch
This weekend I plan on going to watch some of the NASCAR action in Fontana, at the Auto Club Speedway. Here are a couple of facts most people don’t know about NASCAR:
NASCAR now uses Sunoco “Green” E 15 fuel. That’s 15% Ethanol and it is unleaded now- very similar to our 10% Ethanol at the pump. Gone are the days of going to the track and taking in the burning smell of rubber and leaded gasoline. They are burning cleaner at the track now and helping our farmers- or are they? Here is a story NPR did not too long ago: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/23/132082997/nascar-gives-ethanol-green-flag-who-will-follow
NASCAR is also now talking about going to fuel injected engines. They have always used natural aspiration, carburetors, like on many muscle cars you see on the road. Tuning these carbs is an art- cars are tuned for the race up until qualifying, usually the day before the race, and then impounded so that no changes can be made. If weather changes- humidity, temp of the track etc.- these elements can change the performance and fuel mileage. The main reason they never changed to fuel injection was the problems that come with policing all the electronics and components in order to preventing unfair advantages. With a 4 barrel Holley everyone gets the same carb and are also limited equally as far as modifications that can be made. When they do go to EFI a lot of the guess work will be taken out by the computer- some cars will see better fuel mileage with a loss of HP and some tuners will dial it in for HP instead of mileage.
Here’s the schedule for the Fontana weekend, which marks NASCAR’s lone trip to the 2-mile oval in Southern California this year:
noon. – Sprint Cup Series practice (1 hour, 30 minutes)
1:40 p.m. – Nationwide Series final practice (2 hours, 40 minutes)
4:10 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series qualifying
10:10 a.m. – Nationwide Series qualifying
11:30 a.m. – Sprint Cup Series practice (45 minutes)
12:50 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series final practice (1 hour)
2:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series race (150 laps, 300 miles)
noon. – Sprint Cup Series race (200 laps, 400 miles)
See you at the track!