How physics and a video game trick forever changed the NASCAR Championships

If you’ve ever driven a car, you know how important it is for your tires to grip the road. As long as your tires aren’t slipping along the road, you remain in control of your vehicle; when you turn your steering wheel, the angle at which your tires grip the road changes, propelling you forward with an accompanying change in direction.

Source: How physics and a video game trick forever changed the NASCAR Championships

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For whatever it’s worth, Chastain’s final lap time, where he incorporated this video game-inspired strategy into his driving, was 18.845 seconds: the fastest lap in the 75 year history of this track. The move will likely inspire copycats in the future, forcing NASCAR to evaluate the dangers inherent in wall-riding during the final lap. At some point, they’ll have to make a decision as to whether this risky maneuver will remain legal, or whether the risks are too great to allow it.

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One always has to look at the “constraints” to see if you can “cheat” nature and win.

A good lesson for anyone tempted to “follow the crowd”.


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