Wednesday, Nov 29

Q&A With Engineers from the #17 Crown Royal Ford

Wednesday, Jan 19 2769

Looking ahead to this week’s test at Daytona International Speedway,
what is your focus from the engineering side?

“Essentially it’s an all new track for us,” said Sandler.  “The first
step for us will be to look set-up wise and see what we may need to have
different with the new surface. The old Daytona surface was really
challenging handling-wise for drivers, and before, our focus was helping
with mechanical grip as well and making sure that our cars had low drag
(resistance).  Now with the track being as smooth as it is with the new
pavement, we’re hearing that it’s a lot more like Talladega
Superspeedway, which really makes our focus more about getting minimal
drag and less about problems with mechanical grip.”

“One of the biggest things we’ve worked on when it comes to working on
set-ups for our superspeedway cars is right height control,” stated
Bugarewicz.  “This means that we’re working on minimizing how much the
splitter on the car wants to move around while our cars are out on the
track.  You want your splitter to be low to the track in order to
achieve the best aerodynamics.”

“At every track you’re making a compromise between aerodynamics and
making that trade-off with how much grip your chassis makes,” explained
Sandler.  “So when we go to a track like this new Daytona, our
compromise is more on the body control side, since the surface is now a
lot smoother with the new surface.”

What’s the first thing you will work on now to adjust the car at a place
like Daytona?

“The rear of the car is essentially locked in at a speedway due to
specifications from NASCAR,” said Bugarewicz.  “Anything that we would
make adjustments to would usually be forward from the rear axle of the
car.  It’s usually things with the front suspension that we’d focus on
and make adjustments too in order to help our car.”

“In the past you would work to optimize mechanical grip, but now the
cars are pinned down, the surface is so smooth, that we think our focus
is just going to be decreasing drag.  We don’t think that drivers will
be talking about a handling issue at Daytona this week during the test
per say.  We’re just going to make sure that we have a great aerodynamic
car to get the most speed that we can out of it.”

“It means that a lot of the work that goes into these cars will have
taken place before we even get to the track now,” stated Sandler.  The
cars are in and out of the wind tunnel, they’re getting measured
repeatedly, we take it to the k-rig to measure suspension travel, and by
the time it’s loaded on the truck, we should already have minimum drag

Does the smaller restrictor plate affect you all?

“Every team has the same plate mandated by NASCAR,” says Bugarewicz.
“We just work with that plate and make sure that we get the best we
can out of our cars, but we have great horsepower thanks to our
Roush-Yates engines.”


Credit: Roush Fenway Racing PR


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