The NASCAR splitter
It’s likely the most important aspect of aerodynamics on modern NASCAR race car chassis setup. Somewhere along the line, an engineering genius in that garage area figured out that if you seal the splitter to the race track while using stiff spring, you can actually gain grip.
That took some out of the box thinking. Traditionally, softer springs would cause an increase in grip. With the modern NASCAR splitter setup, you loose mechanical grip but the increase in downforce makes up for all of the loss in mechanical grip, plus some.
But, you can go too far. Additionally there’s tricks to making it working correctly. What kind of tricks are used in sealing the NASCAR splitter?
“You wanna run full side skirts. We’re only allowed to run them for so long. We want that side skirt, just touching the race track,” Bootie Barker details the Kansas setup on The Late Shift via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Then, in the front… You want both edges, let’s say the left front and the right front to be barely off the ground. Then, you want the center of your throat to be a 1/4 inch off the ground.”
“What that does is it lets air go through the center of the car, come out the back of the car. When you evacuate that air from the back of the car it creates a low pressure system and sucks the car down,” Bootie Barker concludes.
“I love that shit. That’s awesome,” Kenny Wallace responds to the detailed answer.
Where does a Kansas baseline setup come from?
“How can I answer this?,” Bootie Barker asks himself his own question.
“Ok, Kansas is smooth. Kentucky still has some bumps and ripples. So, basically you’re going to see cars getting after it, as far as being down. They’re gunna be more aggressive than say Chicago because Chicago is worn.”
“So, what we’re going to do is we’re gunna run stiffer wheel rates. Therefore, the car stays down. More so than some other places because it’s still smooth.”
“We start the car smooth. If it doesn’t come up in the garage, it’s certainly not going to come up on the race track. At Kansas, you’re going to see people roll out of the garage with their stuff basically on the ground.”