I usually start by mentioning the similarities between driving a race car and driving on snow and ice. In both cases, the connection between the tires and the road is considerably reduced. The main difference is the speed of the vehicle when the grip is lost. Remember that all that connects your car to the road are four small patches of tires. Don’t ask your tires to do more than they can.
In fact, don’t ask them to do more than one thing at a time. Tires can only transmit three things from the vehicle to the road: acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction. When the tire receives multiple inputs, such as braking and steering simultaneously, there is a vector of the two forces, which reduces the absolute limit of either force. If you try to brake and turn at the same time on a slippery surface, your braking and cornering performance will suffer. You will immediately experience what the racing driver calls ‘pushing’ and plow straight ahead with your wheels cranked to the right or left. Likewise, if you accelerate too hard while turning, you will be faced with the condition that runners refer to as “loose.” You’ll notice it when the back of your car passes you.
And although the loss of grip occurs at much slower speeds on snow and ice than on the racetrack, the techniques used to control your vehicle are very similar. You must use soft entries on all commands. Brake early and gradually; turn slowly and smoothly, do not shake the steering wheel; and accelerate smoothly, gently depressing the accelerator pedal as if there is an egg underneath.
You also need to stay more alert in slippery conditions. Get on the wheel as Darrell Waltrip said on NASCAR race broadcasts. Concentrate on your driving rather than on your phone, the radio or chatting with your passengers. Not paying attention to the task at hand can lead to a trip to the body shop or worse yet, to the hospital. Don’t be that guy.
The 2022 racing season begins next week with the 36th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl. It’s about the Super Bowl, the World Series, the World Cup and the Indy 500 of Midget races, and it’s bigger than ever this year.
There were 380 entries last Monday and more are expected before the start of the qualifying heats on Monday. After five days of winnowing in the field, Saturday’s events will determine this year’s champion, who in recent years has been a NASCAR driver.
Kyle Larson has won the last two years and Christopher Bell has won the previous three years. Larson will take the hat trick this year, and I wouldn’t bet against him. You can catch the action all week long by signing up for free at https://www.floracing.com/. Saturday’s races will also air on MAVTV Plus, but a subscription costs $ 6.99 per month.
Finally, there is another passage to report. Kevin Kalkhoven, former owner of Champ Car, Long Beach Grand Prix and Cosworth Engineering, has died at the age of 77. The Kalkhoven team won the 2013 Indy 500 with driver Tony Kanaan. In 2008, Kalkhoven was instrumental in bringing the Indy Car races together which had been divided into two warring factions since 1996. Although he had not been active in the race in recent years, the Indy car community fondly remembers him. Good luck, sir.