Watching the INdy 500 now, on ABC, and not only that, on ESPN, there
is free streaming, and get this, there is live streaming from the
racecars,. Maybe one camera on the side view mirror that shows the
driver, and for sure a camera above his head that shows the road in
front, and sometimes besides or in back!
Can watch him drive into the pits. Can watch the pitstop from inside
the car. They're down to 8 seconds now. Last I counted several years
ago, I think it was 12 seconds.
Oh, and you can hear the driver and the crew chief talking back and
forth. For 11 of them I think, although with Firefox it seems
clicing on a second car replaces the window with the first.
http://espn.go.com/watchespn/# Only 60 or 70 laps to go.
Now that I can see into the cockpit and see the driver's hands, how
come I don't see him shifting gears, when coming out of the pit, for
example. OTOH, I do see him fiddling with the middle of the steering
wheel sometimes. Are there controls there? Or is he just blowing
the horn to get the other drivers to stay out of his way.
The steering wheel houses *most* of the driver controls. Just like the
idea that you want to keep your keys on the "home" keys on the keyboard
(instead of moving a hand OFF to deal with the mouse), this increases
driving efficiency by reducing the need to direct their attention
There's a "push to talk" button that controls the microphone in their
radio headset (like on a walkie talkie).
There's a "push to drink" button that pumps water into their mouth.
There's a button to scroll through the available displays (which are
present *on* the steering wheel)
There's a button that resets their fuel metrics (typ only pressed when
There's a button to bias the engine for better fuel economy vs. better
There are buttons to put the tranny in neutral or reverse.
There's a "push to pass" button that gives them a bit more power to
edge by a competitor ahead of them.
There's a button to limit the car's speed as it enters pit row (where
there is actually a 60MPH speed limit -- for obvious reasons)
There are controls to allow the car's side-to-side "balance" to be adjusted
(lots of left turns in that race! :> ) to improve the car's handling.
Blowing the engine is probably less of a concern than running out of
fuel. The more fuel you *carry*, the more weight you have to transport
around the track. The less fuel you carry, the more often you have to
come in to pit.
Indy car racing is more a question of resource management than "who can
drive the fastest".
(I'm sure someone has measured how long each pit operation takes
and can tell you where the tradeoff lies regarding fuel economy
vs. performance, for any given car/driver/race conditions. There's
a reason they have those crews tuned as finely as they are!)
I haven't followed Indy or NASCAR in decades. I grew up on 1/4 mile
outlaw dirt tracks and never adapted to the technological niceties. The
most boring race I ever went to was a Gran Prix at Watkins Glen. It
might have been better back when they raced through town.
Somehow the plans to keep racing affordable never make it too far. There
was a track that ran Legends among other classes but it shut down. I
liked to watch them because they looked like what people ran when I was
a kid, the '30s and '40s coupes and sedans. Good racing too since they
were tightly controlled, right down to the tires.
Because money buys performance! Eeking the last few percent out of
a vehicle/driver/team costs disproportionately more than "getting the
car to start" :>
There's no way to "win" using any criteria other than who crosses the finish
Imagine if the criteria were:
- race completed with least amount of fuel
- race completed with least dollar investment
- race completed with least injuries
Hardly worth watching!
Don't kid yourself! There is a lot of wiggle room even with all those
On Monday, May 30, 2016 at 11:53:25 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
It happens at every level of racing. The things I've seen in my 15 year
association with Soap Box Derby racing would curl your hair. Parents
literally teaching their kids how to cheat.
The cut-throat tactics between families is pretty bad too. We has 2 families
in our local organization that hung out together, built their cars together,
strategized together. They raced together for years. One year one of the
kids beat the other kid at the annual race, earning a trip to the World Championship races in Akron, Ohio. The dad of the kid who lost wrote a letter
to the local director informing him that the winner's car had been built
with illegal parts and that he should be disqualified. That would make *his*
kid the winner.
Think about this: The losing family - long time friends of the winner - knew
about the illegal car before the race but never said anything until the
illegal car beat his kid. The local board (of which I was a member) told the
losing father to go pound sand. If he knew about the illegal car prior to
the race, he should have brought it up then. In addition, the losing dad
had (conveniently) dismantled his kid's car before it could be inspected to
see if it had been legal on race day.There was no way we were going
to let his kid move up to first place. We ended up not sending a racer
from that division to Akron that year. Some kid lost a chance at a world
championship and over $10K in scholarships because of 2 cheating families.
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