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Doc's Rant On The "Vicker's Go Home" Call By Nascar

I really dislike rants but, I have a rant that I am going to talk about and it will basically state that I think the Nascar post qualifying tech. inspection folks have made a call that was totally (100%) outrageous and in my book very unfair.


LOUDON, N.H. -- After posting a solid, 28th-place qualifying effort Friday afternoon at New Hampshire International Speedway, Team Red Bull driver Brian Vickers went home for the eighth time in 17 attempts after his car was deemed to be too low in post-qualifying inspection.

According to Nextel Cup director John Darby, the left front of Vickers' car was an eighth-of-an-inch outside the quarter-inch tolerance for being too low after qualifying.

Team Red Bull's Doug Richert said: "We go through [pre-qualifying] inspection and the car was presented, it was correct, but now we go back through and we're thrown out, and we've got to send our team home. And I don't really have a good answer why."

Doug Richert (crew chief for the No. 83 Toyota) goes on to say: "It sucks, "All the non-top-35 cars go back through inspection [following qualifying]. When we went through, we found the front end of the car didn't meet their minimum height.

"We had several opportunities to roll back and forth and check the air pressure. They pretty much let us do everything except put gas back in it like it was when we ran the car through the original inspection."

My Rant

What the hell is this crap with sending Vickers home. Was it to simply send someone home because so many armchair car builders and/or armchair racers wanting someone (anyone) to be sent home for an infraction just to see if Nascar had the ba_ _s to do so?

I want you to think about the following, ok .............

Think about the new COT (Car Of Tomorrow) overall height, (Taller).

The roll center weight transfer while cornering to the left, (Added weight on right side tires).

Weight transfer to the rear of the car under acceleration, (Added weight to rear tires).

Forward bite, (Added heat to rear tires).

Then think about this .....

The distance between the two dotted lines (blue & pink) below represents the tolerance Nascar allows for left front ride height. The 1/8 inch that Vickers car was out of tolerances was only half of this distance, ok!


I would think that most anyone that hangs around race cars (much less conducts a pre qualifying and post qualifying inspections) should know that out of the four tires on the race car the three that generate the most heat while on the track qualifying are the right front, right rear and the left rear tires. These three tires will grow in size more (in heat and expansion theory) than the left front therefore tipping the entire car to the left front corner.

Even when the air pressures of all the tires are reset to pre qualifying specs for post qualifying inspection ride height inspection the three aforementioned tires will be taller (never to return to 100% of their original height) than the left front due to getting the most heat during qualifying and therefore will stand the car on the left front corner thus lowering the height set-up.

I don't care if the tires cool off to atmosphere temp, them three tires that had the most heat (that grew the most) will still be taller when they are measured compared to their circumferences prior to qualifying.

So, the heat expanded (taller tires) tires that are causing the left front nose to dip should not have play in a post race/qualifying inspection if we are dealing with only 1/8 of an inch on and above a 1/4 inch tolerance. The only way I could see a post race/qualifying inspection having any integrity is for a complete set of stickers with the exact pre qualifying stagger in them put on the car or setting the cars on naked wheels for this inspection.

Any tire, (Good Year or not) will change in circumference and never return to original size once heated. They grow and contract but never back 100% to original circumference. They will forever be taller.

I have conducted many tests over the years considering the coefficient of expansion and contraction on many various race car components (with and without high speed rotation) and simply put, "tires do not ever go completely home" nor do they maintain their original compound.

Smokey Yunick and I used to talk and test all the time on how heat can effect race car components and car set up. Ride height changes due to heat generated on the track is "not new news".

Smokey Yunick and I worked a lot on big truck (18 wheeler) issues but we also worked on domestic and competition automotive issues as well!

Smokey Yunick knew racing and he gave to it far more than he took!

I could never fill Smokey's Shoes but I will forever carry on Smokey's Legacy!

Furthermore, by Nascar not allowing the team to replace the fuel that was used on the three laps (plus idle time prior to qualifying) this only adds insult to injury because, that fuel would/could pick up the left front corner of the car. We are talking about maybe 4 gals of fuel and at approx. 6.216 lbs per gallon that would be an approx. total weight of 24 to 25 lbs. I know it don't sound like much but 1/8 of an inch is also not very much especially when we are measuring three tires that are taller after qualifying than they were in pre inspection but having a left front that did not grow or grow as much because of less heat generated on that tire. Maybe the addition of the fuel would have made the out of tolerance 1/16 of an inch out. Would Nascar have also sent the team home for a 1/16 of an inch infraction?

I know that the Vickers Team should/could have set the ride height up at the top of the tolerance at the left front corner but they didn't (their struggling) but I will also state that I bet there were plenty of the so called top 35 (that did not have to go thru post inspection) were also out of the 1/4 inch tolerance as well.

BTW, isn't it sort of discrimination to conduct post qualifying inspections on the teams that have to make the race on speed and not the top 35 teams? Seems to me that Nascar is trying to lesson their field of race cars to only 35 cars/teams.

Post Race News Flash ......

(Nascar article)

LOUDON, N.H. -- The cars of drivers Kyle Busch and Johnny Sauter failed post-race height inspection following completion of the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 on Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway.

But before anyone goes too crazy over the news of the infractions, spokesman Ramsey Poston of NASCAR cautioned that the failures of the two cars did not appear to be nearly as serious as the ones earlier this season that led to large fines, 100-point driver and owner penalties and up to six-race suspensions for teams for messing with the template of the Car of Tomorrow.

"Both cars were too low in the left front," Poston said. "But we don't consider this tampering with the integrity of the Car of Tomorrow. It's not that kind of an infraction. It's more of what we would call a competition infraction."

Poston said that points penalties and fines could be forthcoming for the No. 5 team of Busch and the No. 70 team of Sauter, likely to be announced Tuesday. But he added that their finishes in Sunday's race -- 11th for Busch and 14th for Sauter -- would stand. (end of article)

Well what the hell, how about Brian Vickers Nascar? You sent him home!!

All of the teams that have to make the race on speed are struggling and their set ups may not be the best they could be but, they towed there and spent enough money didn't they to be able to race even if they are out 1/8 of a inch! Hold your thumb and forefinger up and almost close them completely, that's 1/8 of an inch! Try telling your potential new sponsor that if you can get your car this close (hold up them fingers) then maybe you will have a shot at putting their name (Logo) on television. That potential sponsor will simply tell you to take a hike and have a nice day!

As per Nascar's Sonoma race fine on the Hendrick dynamic duo, (whom I very much so respect as I do all drivers) I thought every 1/8 of an inch was worth a fine of $14,286.00.

See, Jeff and Jimmy were 1" wider than specs and Nascar said that the tolerance for that area was 1/8 of an inch so, their being out 7/8 of and inch set a presence for $100,000.00 fine and that my friends is $14,286.00 per 1/8 inch. But, I think now that a 1/8 inch infraction is worth much more because I know the Vickers Team had to spend much more than $14,286.00 to make the show and then be sent home for the 1/8 inch silly call.

This was a bad call by the Nascar inspectors and very, very unfair to Brian Vickers, his team and car owner (s).

I think it's time the Nascar pre qualifying and post qualifying inspectors go back to school or maybe not back to school just go to school because, it seems to me that they have not yet been there.

Whichever it may be, they are running off the fans by such calls and consequences to the teams.

I have been involved with building and racing cars since 1955 and this is the most unfair call by any race organization I have heard of to date!

I honestly do not believe that the Brian Vicker's Team attempted to cheat. Look at their past efforts this year! If anyone thinks this team is cheating then that person needs to "GO HOME"

I hope Nascar can see this bad call by their inspectors and refrain from this type action in the future but as important, make it up to the Vickers Team! Give them back their nominal New Hampshire points for this so out of line call by the Nascar post qualifying inspectors.

~ Doc ~

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Up-Dated - 07/03/07 -