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To say that CFD is easy as 1-2-3 would probably be an overstatement, but the numbers this computer method generated in regards to the 2013 NASCAR Fusion was music to the ears of Ford Racing.

“Computational Fluid Dynamics is an engineering tool used by various industries in the world for looking at aerodynamics on the computer,” said Ford Racing NASCAR Program Manager Pat DiMarco.  “Basically, it’s a wind tunnel on a computer and we at Ford Racing use it in similar ways that Ford Motor Company uses it – to make better, more efficient cars.

“You can push and pull on different aspects of the car and it’s just a matter of somebody’s time doing it on the computer,” he continued.  “You can turn results around overnight, whereas at the wind tunnel you have to build physical parts, schedule time, and then go to the wind tunnel.  That gets very expensive so once the upfront investment is made, CFD is really an efficient way of doing things.”

And with a relatively short 18-month timeline to design, build and test a brand new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car from scratch, methods like CFD became an integral part to the process by working in conjunction with the Ford Motor Co. Design Center and Ford Racing aerodynamicists. 

“Today, we’re not allowed to test at any track we race on in NASCAR, so computer-aided and engineering tools like this are becoming more and more valuable, whether it’s simulation where we actually predict what the dynamics of the car is going to be, or CFD which predicts the air-flow of the car,” said Andy Slankard, Ford Racing’s NASCAR Operations Manager.  “They’re just becoming the tools that we have to use to be competitive in NASCAR.”

Led by CFD manager Ray Leto, technical expert Naethan Eagles, and engineer Ted Pandaleon, the 2013 NASCAR Fusion ended up being changed dozens of times without so much as a hand being placed on an actual piece of sheetmetal.

 “We think the big benefit of merging the numerical simulation with the physical testing is that you can do some quick iterations in the numerical world that you wouldn’t be able to do in the physical world – whether it’s a scale-model or the full-scale car,” said Leto.  “We can try lots of different things, whether it’s just subtle design changes in small areas of the car, or big concept changes.  We basically do the same thing as the physical wind tunnel, just in a numerical simulation.”

Besides being able to make a series of changes in a short period of time, another one of CFD’s biggest attributes is the ability to show the aerodynamic strengths and weaknesses of the vehicle from a variety of perspectives.

“One of the best things about CFD is that we can see the flow of air over the car.  We can see the pressures on the surfaces very easily, so we have an idea of what’s going on as opposed to the wind tunnel, where you just kind of get numbers out,” said Pandaleon.  “So we’re really able to pinpoint and focus our development to areas that we know are going to get good results and we know they’re going to act the way we want them to act.”

But with the stated goal of manufacturers in NASCAR for 2013 being more brand identity in their respective models, the process by which performance was calculated in the Fusion had to be altered slightly from the way race cars are usually designed.  While still trying to build a car with optimum numbers for downforce, drag and sideforce, the group had to balance that without sacrificing the sleek character lines and overall unique look of the all-new Fusion production car. 

“The way I liked to hit this was to take the cue from the stylist and then push out past where he wanted to go -- find out what we could do performance-wise -- and then figure out the best way to pull back to what was needed from a styling perspective and what was acceptable from the downforce perspective,” recalled Eagles.  “I think the car evolved quite a lot over time, so as we went around different parts of the car, we had to try to manipulate the surfaces to deliver the performance that was required while still hitting the styling cues. 

“I think it was challenging but enjoyable nevertheless,” he added.  “Anything that is different or approaching the same problem from a different direction is enjoyable and challenging.  It’s something that adds to your daily tasks and makes you think a little bit outside the box than you normally do.”

By all accounts, having CFD included in the 2013 NASCAR Fusion project was a major benefit and will continue to be a part of future racing projects.

“The CFD really helped us focus on issues we had along the way,” said DiMarco.  “We had our standard process that we use with scale-model and then full-scale testing, but when we hit some bumps in the road we were able to go find a little bit more of this or a little bit more of that, and were able to do it very efficiently and very quickly.”

Ford Racing PR

Cartoon characters adorn the ceiling above each hospital bed. There’s Curves, and Wally Wingman, and of course, Airgun Annie. Autographs – as if in a clubhouse – pepper the walls, from the likes of NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson. There’s a play room and photos and fun – ways to pass the time, anything to get a child’s mind away from the stress of illness.

“Here at the Speediatrics unit everything is excellent, everyone is nice,” said Daytona Beach resident Aatifa Holder, mother to Dimitri Wills, a current patient at Speediatrics. “We’ve been here due to an asthma attack that Dimitri suffered. I’ve told everybody about all the characters on the walls because I haven’t seen this sort of environment at any other hospital. Dimitri enjoys it here, he feels comfortable.”

Dimitri is one of more than 2,000 children a year who receive care at the NASCAR-themed Speediatrics Unit of the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., a program that reached a major milestone on Wednesday. The NASCAR Foundation presented its annual $150,000 donation to the Speediatrics Unit, raising its total contributions to the unit to more than $1 million since the partnership was established in 2006.

“When the foundation began, we had grand dreams of being able to help Speediatrics and other worthy causes in this manner,” said The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman and Speediatrics founder Betty Jane France. “Those dreams have been realized – and then some. I am so very proud of what the foundation has been able to accomplish on Speediatrics’ behalf. Halifax’s Speediatrics unit is close to my home … and my heart.”

The mission of The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics program is to create a healing environment where children always come first. Through its support of the unit, the foundation continues to help children suffering from illnesses lead healthier and happier lives through state-of-the-art medical care and a strong recovery process, all in an energetic, colorful environment.

France led the check presentation during a special ceremony at Halifax Health Medical Center’s Speediatrics Unit. Attendees included NASCAR President Mike Helton, NASCAR Vice Chairwoman and Executive Vice President and International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood, The NASCAR Foundation Board of Directors, Halifax Health CEO Jeff Feasel and Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey.

The Speediatrics unit is a NASCAR-themed 32-bed pediatric unit, a pediatric emergency department and a five-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) located in Halifax Health Medical Center. Highly experienced physicians and pediatric intensive care specialists supported by a team of skilled nurses care for more than 2,000 children each year, including about 300 of those receiving care in the PICU.

“The NASCAR Foundation’s dedication to the Speediatrics Unit at Halifax Health has been paramount to its growth and development over the last six years,” said Jeff Feasel, President and CEO of Halifax Health. “We are more than grateful to have this longstanding relationship with Betty Jane France, the entire France family and The NASCAR Foundation. Their contributions have assisted Halifax Health in providing a warm and positive environment for all of the patients of the Speediatrics unit.”

To learn more about Speediatrics visit www.speediatrics.org; or, to learn more about The NASCAR Foundation and other philanthropic activities in the NASCAR community, including information on how to donate and volunteer, please visit NASCAR.COM/foundation.


NASCAR PR

Adam Nelson and Harold Crook find themselves in a unique position.  Each Promoter has a driver that is undefeated so far this season in their premiere division, which is very rare in short track racing.  Both are also looking to have their first ASA Member Track National Champion.
 
Shelby Stroebel, from Meridian Speedway, still sits at the top of the ASA Member Track National Championship standings with an average of 3.6429.  Lance Gatlin, from Lonesome Pine Raceway, is not far behind with an average of 3.5027.
 
Over the next few weeks, the battle could get more interesting as Gatlin will have the opportunity to have an equal number of events on record to Stroebel.  Gatlin competes again on August 4 while Stroebel will be back in action on August 11. This could be the start of a classic East vs. West battle for the National Title.  A battle that could see more than just two involved as other ASA Member Track drivers could be also in the hunt.
 
Nelson is the promoter of Meridian Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Meridian, ID.  His driver Shelby Stroebel won his eleventh straight ASA Modified feature this past Saturday night.  His win streak going back to last season is now up to 13 events. 
 
As a Promoter, Nelson hopes to see many of his competitors visit victory lane at his 1/4-mile asphalt oval.  But, when a driver is undefeated this far into the season, Nelson has a different thought. “It is rare to have undefeated drivers at two tracks with decent car counts, especially in your top division,” Nelson said.  “Our guys are doing everything they can to get involved in our ASA Modified division.  When you have that interest, you would like to see many different winners.  At the same time, when you have Shelby on the streak he is on, everyone is curious to see how far he will take it, including myself.”

ASA Racing PR
 
Over on the East Coast at Lonesome Pine Raceway, an ASA Member Track in Coeburn, VA, Harold Crook is tickled to death that he has a driver in the hunt for the 2012 National title.  He also would like to see different winners as well.  In fact, over the last few events, Crook has put up a bounty for any competitor who beats Gatlin.  After two attempts, no one has claimed the bounty, which is up to $450 on August 4.
 
“It feels real good to have a driver like Lance Gatlin challenging for the ASA Member Track National Championship.  He is a really nice guy,” Crook said. “But, I am very lucky to have some great teams racing with us this season. They all work hard and deserve to win, which is why I put up the bounty on Lance.  His success is great for our track because it is drawing fan interest and helping our car count.  In fact, our fans are cheering for him to win each week.  Last Saturday night, we did a thorough inspection on his car to show everyone that he is legal.  Fans were calling the track office during the middle of the night to make sure he was the official winner.”
 
“Right now, you have two drivers on a great streak and several others chasing them.  One hiccup from either could allow the others to catch up,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said.  “This is very far from over.  The battle may not come down to these two drivers in the final two months.  Several others, who started later in the season could have a strong finish and be in contention for the title.”
 
Mike Slone is third overall with an average of 3.1972.  He has been leading the ASA Late Model standings all season long at Lebanon I-44 Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Lebanon, MO.  He and Matt Wallace could be in for a great points battle after Wallace won his third feature last Saturday night.
 
Zack Franks and Dennis Queen at Newport Motor Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Newport, TN are chasing down Wayne Webb in their Late Model Sportsman division.  Webb is fourth overall in the standings with an average of 2.8291.
 
Defending ASA Member Track National Champion Barry Beggarly is hoping to get back on track this Friday night and gain some points on the leader at Ace Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Altamahaw, NC.  The last event for him was rained out two weeks ago.  He is fifth in the standings with an average of 2.6302.  He is also in a tight points battle with Dustin Rumley in their Late Model division.
 
Michael Hale is in a good position defending his Maverik Modified championship at Rocky Mountain Raceways, an ASA Member Track in West Valley City, UT.  He is sixth overall with an average of 2.3745.
 
Mark Mackesy took back the points lead last Thursday night at State Park Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Wausau, WI.  He has an average of 2.0910.
 
Kyle Borden will be looking to extend his points lead this Saturday night at Shasta Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Anderson, CA.  He has an average of 1.3704.
 
Throughout the season, drivers competing in the premiere divisions at eligible ASA Member Tracks are in the running for the 2012 ASA Member Track National Championship.  In order to have a chance for the national title, a driver must first win their 2012 track championship.

Reed Sorenson and Biagi-DenBeste Racing will unite two of American motorsports' most revered icons - Carroll Shelby and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - this weekend when the No. 98 Carroll Shelby Engine Company Ford Mustang makes its third start of the 2012 racing season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
 
This weekend marks the first occasion that the Nationwide Series competes at the heralded speedway, known worldwide as "The Brickyard." Although it will be the initial start at the 2.5-mile track for Biagi-DenBeste Racing, its driver is not lacking in experience.
 
Sorenson captured a pole for the 2007 Brickyard 400, one of the premier events each year for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Sorenson earned a fifth-place finish that year and also has finishes of 13th and 17th in 2009 and 2008, respectively.
 
"Every racecar driver wants to go to Indianapolis and compete for a win," said Sorenson. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to go this weekend with our Carroll Shelby Engine Company Ford Mustang and try my hand at a Nationwide Series win."
 
Sorenson, a winner of four races in the Nationwide Series, has previous runs of 16th at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 13th at Kentucky Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 98 Carroll Shelby Engine Company Ford Mustang, which this season, is being dedicated to the memory of the late Carroll Shelby, who passed away in May.
 
"At the beginning of the race season, we set out to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Shelby American," said Bill DenBeste, co-owner of Biagi-DenBeste Racing. "With Carroll Shelby's recent passing, we've dedicated the race season to his memory. His legacy started on the track, and there is no better way to celebrate his storied career."

RSMPR

Turner Motorsports announced today that Nelson Piquet Jr. will return to the cockpit of the No. 30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet Impala at the upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will be Piquet Jr.'s second NNS start of 2012, and the fourth of his career.

 

The 26-year-old Brazilian earned his first ever stock-car victory earlier this season when he took the checkered flag in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at "The World's Fastest Half Mile." In his most recent NNS start at Road America in June, Piquet Jr. claimed his first victory in one of NASCAR's top-three touring series. Piquet Jr.'s 39 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) starts have resulted in one pole, nine top-fives, and 19 top-10 finishes.

 

Piquet Jr. on his NNS start at Bristol Motor Speedway: "After the success of my first Nationwide start of 2012, I'm more than ready to make my second. It was very important to me for it to be on an oval. I think I've proven that I can get around a road course quite well, so my next step is trying to prove I can do just as well on an oval. Crew chief Trent Owens and I worked very well together at Road America and I'm excited be given this opportunity again this year. Turner Motorsports has proven to be very dominant this year in both the [NASCAR] Nationwide Series and the [NASCAR Camping World] Truck Series. I'm ready to get them another win."

 

Turner Motorsports PR

The Petty family has a long history of supporting our nation's heroes. This weekend, with the help of driver Aric Almirola, the team will once again take time to honor America's military families with team partner Eckrich. 

 

This summer, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families.  The company has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.  It has also partnered with Operation Homefront and Richard Petty Motorsports to honor a military family at the track during its three primary race events, including this weekend at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Honoring the military is not new to Almirola or Petty. The team already has partnerships with the U.S. Air Force and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.  For Almirola, who was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, it's also in his family blood.

 

Sunday's Brickyard 400 will mark Almirola's career debut at the storied 2.5-mile oval in Indianapolis, Ind.

 

Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:

 

"I don't know if a lot of people knew I was born on an Air Force Base before this season, but a partnership and program like we have with Eckrich has allowed more people to hear my story.  It's really something I'm proud to share and proud it's part of my family background.  My father was a mechanic at Eglin Air Force Base. He didn't get sent overseas or anything like that, so I was lucky that our family wasn't separated for any long periods of time.  But there are a lot of military families that do experience that.  And while it's very important that we think about the safety of the service men and women who are deployed, we also have to keep in mind the spouses and kids back home who are missing their mom or dad or other family member and may need some extra help.

 

"I know that our military families sacrifice a lot.  And that's what this is all about. It's about Eckrich and Operation Homefront teaming up to make sure our military families are recognized and have their needs met.  Having the logo on the car this weekend at Indy is a reminder that we need to recognize and take care of those who are taking care of us."

 

Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Co-Owner Richard Petty:

 

"Throughout the years we've always tried to do something for our military members.  We have relationships with the Air Force and the PVA and now Eckrich has partnered with Operation Homefront.  It's always important to take some time and say 'thanks' to our military families.  And what Operation Homefront does is to make sure they are taken care of.  I think that's something very important to do.

 

"Sometimes we see the soldier, but you have to remember that most of the time there is a family at home, too.  We need to make sure to remember them and ensure they have everything they need.  That's what Operation Homefront does and Eckrich has done a great job of supporting them.  We just need Aric to go race up front on Sunday and we'll get a lot more people to see what it's all about, too."

 

RPM

Turner Motorsports will field the No. 30 Chevrolet with driver Alex Tagliani for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 18, 2012. Tagliani, a hometown favorite in Montreal, will compete on the circuit he knows well after narrowly finishing second in an epic battle to the finish during last year's event.  He hopes to better that result in 2012.

"I'm always proud to come back to Montreal and to be able to race on this fantastic road course named after one of my all-time racing heroes, Gilles Villeneuve," said Tagliani. "I really wanted to race here again, so when the opportunity presented itself with Turner Motorsports and we were no longer scheduled to be overseas, I was pretty excited. In Formula Atlantic, I won here from the pole and also had a pole in Indy Car.  Montreal has been good to me to date and I'm hoping to better my race history here.  Having a competitive car to challenge for the win is all I can wish for."

"Last year's race was a great experience and it was amazing to qualify on the front row and finish the race second.  This year is really cool because I met Trent Owens (crew chief of the No. 30 entry for Turner Motorsports) in Kershaw and he was really helpful, answering all my questions even though, at that time, he was working with his own team.  It's ironic that we are going to work together a few short years later.  He's an amazing guy, so I'm excited. I'm honored to drive for Turner Motorsports. This is a passionate group of individuals that make up an awesome team.  From Steve (Turner) to all the mechanics, I'm looking forward to meeting everyone at the shop."

Owens is looking forward to the opportunity to work with Tagliani in the upcoming event. 

"We are looking forward to working with Tag.  Looking at what he is capable of doing in Indy Car with a new team with a one-car operation for the last two street course-qualifying sessions says it all.  But last year is what impressed me.  He missed the pole by just a little bit, and then ran a mistake-free race.  Racing in the open wheel circuits makes him drive with a lot of respect on the track and that's important."

Montreal-native Tagliani has raced across the country throughout his career.  

"I feel like I'm covering Canada well this season, with two races in Indy Car (Toronto and Edmonton) and the Nationwide race in Montreal now," added Tagliani.  "My sponsors are excited to spend the week in this beautiful city."

Steve Turner, owner of Turner Motorsports, feels Tagliani's road course experience will be an added advantage to his entire organization.

"Our team is looking forward to working with Tag.  The type of experience he can bring to our organization and road course program is invaluable and will be a big advantage for us.  We  have one road course win under our belt already this season after Nelson Piquet Jr.'s win at Road America, and we fully expect to be able to bring home another with Alex in Montreal."

Francois Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Management, the promoter of the event, is thrilled to have Tagliani's presence at the upcoming event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"We are glad to confirm with Turner Motorsports the presence of Alex at our upcoming NAPA Auto Parts 200, presented by Dodge. With the excellent finish he recorded in Montreal last year and the very good car he will be driving this year, he must be considered as a serious contender for the win", said Dumontier. "Alex is a determined man and a driver with a true passion for auto racing. All his efforts on-track and off-track with fans and sponsors have not always been rewarded as they should have.  We wish him to encounter a success he largely deserves, during the weekend of August 16, 17 & 18," added Dumontier.

Turner Motorsports PR

This week the NASCAR Nationwide Series makes its inaugural visit to the famed Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway (IMS), and the No. 54 Monster Energy Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team is prepared for an exciting run with their owner-driver behind the wheel. Kyle Busch will make his 11th start in the company-owned Toyota, competing in the Indianapolis 250 event on Saturday. Busch has seen the famed surface before in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but along with 42 other competitors, will be visiting the special brick surface for the first time in the Nationwide Series.

KBM isn't taking just any No. 54 Monster Energy car from its fleet to race the 2.5-mile oval, it is taking the same Camry the young company won with at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in April, with brother and company co-driver Kurt Busch. The elder Busch also ran winning chassis nine at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, where he produced a top-five finish for the team, who with nearly every stop on the schedule thus far, has been faced with the task of learning a new track.

The Mooresville, NC-based race team was essentially formed in 2003 when the younger Busch built and raced his first Legends Cars. That passion for competing and winning grew into a multi-team business, including a Championship NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, who at the end of 2011 added a NASCAR Nationwide Series team to the portfolio.

In the first 18 starts of the season, the KBM Monster Energy team has accomplished one win, seven top-five finishes, 10 top-10 finishes and led 167 laps. Kurt Busch has seen the wheel eight times and will reappear nine more times through the balance of the 2012 schedule.

For the company owner to lead the team into Indianapolis, in search of that first victory himself, is special. IMS is a track mortared with victories recorded by many of motorsports' finest. As the winningest driver in the Nationwide series, with 51 career victories, it's fitting for Busch to drive the No. 54 Toyota and compete with his young team, in the opening event at such a historical speedway.

KBM PR

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