Monday, November 2, 2009

Does parity produce better racing?

**please note this is not about yesterdays Cup race, it is more about the racing in general. I'm refraining from saying anything about yesterday since I never saw the race**

It's an interesting question. Most of us believe that seeing the entire field being covered by the blink of an eye in qualifying should lead to a cracker of a race, yes?

But why?

When you really sit down and think about it, parity means equality...equality means the better drivers should be able to work their way through the 'lesser' drivers...but equality also means you have virtually no chance of passing the guy in front as they're, theoretically at least, spitting out identical lap times to you.

The only way any overtaking happens is when the guy behind is significantly faster than the guy in front, yes? So how can that happen when the cars are equal? Different tyre compounds has been used in F1 and Indycar the last few years and has been a hit or miss deal but it's not practical for NASCAR. Slipsteaming/drafting can work...except that the guy you've just passed can also use the same tactic. Outbraking also works...provided you don't overshoot and let them by on the exit. What about that 'push to pass' button then? Given that a similar system is being scrapped in F1 for next year and NASCAR refuses to be dragged into the 21st century with technology, that means the Indycars can keep that idea to themselves.

Besides, it's not like their championships ever go down to the wire or anything *rolls eyes*

So to answer the question, does it?

In the lower formulae, certainly (watch a formula ford race and you'll see what I mean). But it doesn't work at the highest level of the sport. So where does it all go wrong? Personally, I think it is the tyres...the lower classes don't have as wide a tyre yet provide amazing racing (as does the motorcyle racing now i think about it...same thing though, very small contact patch between the rubber and the road).

Perhaps it's time to trial a narrower wheel. Yes, the teams and drivers will whinge and complain about having less grip and how the car is undriveable but hey, they are supposed to be the elite so they'll adjust given enough time.

Besides, a narrower tyre may not work and it'd be a moot point anyway...only one way to find out though *shrugs*


  1. Tez, I know what you mean by the lower formulae / etc have been some great racing compaired to the big boys. I think they are all on a even money for team & talent behind the wheele with some showing they are the ones to move up in time.

    The COT is so heavey they can't go to a smaller or narrower tire with out making the compound so much harder to with stand 35 to 50 laps and that means less grip so they say.

    Plus it would only help the dirt track drivers that learned how to race in the dirt would shine and the other drivers would be spinning out all the

    Money is the factor to all things, salary cap the teams in some way from the shop to the track. Might work... lol


  2. The narrower tire is just one of dozens of ways to reduce speed without restrictor plates. Take the rear wing completely off the unrestricted COTs at Dega and Daytona....that will slow them down, and separate the good from the great.

    F2....they used skinny tires in the 60s and 70s and cars that weighed the same as the COT. The idea of the skinny tire is to make them have to go slower...not to try and go the same speed on a narrower tire.

  3. I have to admit High tech race cars do seem to spark my interest more than NASCAR lately. Perhaps if NASCAR could modernize the engines it might bring some interest.

    Imagine a COT with a over head cammed ( multiple) small bore V-6 or V-8 engine with a computerized fuel injection system, enginge managemnet system and possibly a super charger. Now that would be excitement to see what that set up could do. We also need fatter tires.

  4. Gene; I don't care if they go slower, I'm getting at making the racing better....if they go faster and we get better results, that's fine, lol