How Weather Affects NASCAR Decisions
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin hasn't minded the wrenches mother nature has thrown at him so far this season. Two rain delays, two wins for the weather watching No. 11 team.
“It's one of the variables we calculate for each and every week," says Hamlin.
"The weather has an affect on how much rubber is on the track, if it gets washed off then we've got to start all over laying rubber down."
Joey Logano's team played a wet day to their advantage last year at Loudon.
"We were a little off sequence from other people and were able to stay out and get a win," says No. 20 Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli.
Radar plays an important part in pit strategy as rain approaches but there are several other variables.
"When we go to a Superspeedway we're always trying to figure out did the wind help us because the cars, you're so close, you're wide open," says Hamlin.
As track temperatures get hotter, the cars slow down. They also lose some grip and tend to gravitate to the high side.
As temperatures cool, speed increases as does grip and the low side is a better place to race.
From the tires to the tune of the engine, scientific changes are made based on Saturday's practice weather and the race day forecast.
"You have to somewhat predict the day before the race where the weather is going to go so you know how to jet your carburetor," says Mike Ford, Crew Chief for the No. 11 team.
"You have radiator cooling you need to adjust."
NASCAR teams have many tools to adjust to the ever changing weather. The goal: use 'em better than everybody else.
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