Posts by Fireballs

Playing In Traffic

»Posted by on Jun 11, 2014 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Playing In Traffic

The June 2014 issue of NASA’s Speed News e-zine is a great personal honor for me, with “Playing In Traffic” as the featured article on the cover. Speed News is a magazine by racers for racers, so it is both humbling and nerve wracking to be in a position to counsel such a large audience of experienced racers on a subject that everyone has extensive experience with. As you have probably guessed, the topic of my article is racing traffic strategy. I hope that what I had to say in that article presented a detail or two from a different perspective, or perhaps revealed a different way to approach the challenge than the reader had considered before. Take a look through the issue and let me know what you think in the comments. Many thanks to...

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Spirit of America Announced

»Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Spirit of America Announced

Craig Breedlove, the first driver to set land speed records over 400, 500, and 600 mph, all in jet-powered cars that he designed and built himself, has a huge new land speed goal in his sights: One Thousand miles per hour. Traveling a mile in 3.6 seconds, making shock waves in the air at Mach 1.3. This astonishing speed is well beyond the current absolute land speed record, held by England’s Andy Green and the Thrust SSC team led by another land speed legend, Richard Noble. The record today is 763.035 mph, and it set a permanent milestone as the first land speed record that is faster than the speed of sound. This record has stood since 1997 as the pinnacle of automotive speed: The Fastest Car in the World. Why are we targeting 1,000 mph?...

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Back On Track

»Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Back On Track

As you have probably read in uncomfortably extensive detail here and here, I have inadvertently become an expert in re-learning how to drive a race car after a long time away from competition. Thanks to NASA‘s Speed News magazine, I have had the opportunity to share how to re-learn those driving lessons with a much wider audience. My article Back On Track covers the keys to returning to competition driving quickly and safely. If you think it has been too long for you to get behind the wheel again, check it out and decide for yourself if there is more fun to be...

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Think Fast Enchilada Edition

»Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Think Fast Enchilada Edition

Until today, Think Fast – The Racer’s Why-To Guide to Winning was available exclusively in paperback form. Here is the link to the Kindle Edition of Think Fast. Everything in the print edition is in there – it’s the whole enchilada, but one that you can carry in your pocket. The dedicated web site for Think Fast has numerous excerpts to give you a sense of what it’s like. The unanimous positive feedback that I have received means that it must be one of the better racing books in print, and the Kindle Edition is yours for a lower...

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Grip search

»Posted by on Dec 14, 2013 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Grip search

In my book Think Fast – The Racer’s Why-To Guide to Winning, I advised racing drivers to “Drive where the grip is, not where the line is.” This has turned out to be yet another example of “Do as I say, not as I do”, at least for one brief moment. Among the many photos that Kj Christopher took of my car at a recent practice day, one of them shows clear evidence of a massive understeer washout that was caused by driving through the dirt outside the clean line. Oops! For sure, there was a lot less grip out there. Even though I was driving a better theoretical line to set up for the next corner, the reality that most drivers weren’t made my theoretical best line slower for sure than the practical best line that was a...

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