Episode 6 - All about Stock Car Aerodynamics vs F1 with Brian Murphy

Podcast: Braking Bias

Published Date:

Sat, 04 Nov 2023 14:00:00 -0400






Brian Murphy

Please note that the summary is generated based on the transcript and may not capture all the nuances or details discussed in the podcast episode.


The Braking Bias team is ready to Shake and Bake!

Did you know the worlds of Formula 1 and Stock Car racing actually have a lot in common?

Braking Bias is super excited to welcome former member of NASCARs Stewart Haas Racing, Brian Murphy to the pod as our first ever guest to talk all things NASCAR and stock cars and their aerodynamics. 

The team dives right in with explanations of stock car aerodynamics, what makes this current generation different, how similar it is to the current open wheel series, what sort of paradigm shifts have had to occur at teams to work on these new generation of cars. Before tackling downforce loss, set ups, and how to manage the new cars. 

Stock cars only have 25 total hours of practice in an entire 36 race season compared to 110 in years before, and 70 in Formula 1?  Brian discusses fascinating ways team mange this and the importance of unpacking a car that's ready to go for race weekend and how they have to rely on OEMs and work together with their competition more than ever before to be successful. 

The team talks a ton of fascinating topics around the world of stock car racing that leaves no shortage of incredible tech talk in this jam packed episode. 

Settle in and set you bias aside to get Braking Bias. 




In this episode of the Breaking Bias podcast, hosts Dr. Obbs and Molly Marissa sit down with their first guest, Brian Murphy, a former associate shop foreman at Stuart Haas Racing. Murphy takes the listeners on a journey through his introduction to motorsports, initially indifferent but later captivated by NASCAR after experiencing a race at Watkins Glen. The discussion delves into his career progression, starting in a local shop that built late-model stock chassis and eventually leading to his role at Stewart Haas Racing.

Moving on to the main topics, the conversation explores the significant aerodynamic changes from the Gen 6 to Gen 7 Cup cars. Murphy details the features of the Gen 7 cars, including a symmetrical body, standardized underbody, and a different suspension system. The introduction of an underbody scanner for precise measurements aims to reduce costs and promote sustainability in the sport.

The impact of dirty air in NASCAR, particularly with the Gen 7 cars, becomes a focal point of the discussion. Murphy highlights how increased downforce can make these cars more susceptible to losing downforce when following another car, leading to dirtier air. The question arises whether the current era has dirtier air or if teams simply have more data and understanding of the phenomenon. Minimizing yaw is emphasized as crucial to mitigate the negative effects of dirty air.

Weight management and spoiler adjustments take center stage as Murphy underscores the importance of these factors, particularly on short tracks where cars generate minimal downforce. Teams can manipulate spoiler face and ride height within allowed tolerances to optimize airflow and maximize downforce.

The conversation expands to various phenomena in stock car racing, such as side drafting, wall proximity, and the intriguing "wall ride" maneuver by Ross Chastain at Martinsville. Murphy explains how drivers strategically manipulate airflow around their cars and their competitors, and the debate on the aerodynamic effects of wall proximity.

The role of drivers in understanding and utilizing aerodynamics effectively is emphasized by Murphy. Drivers can feel real-time aerodynamic changes and grip levels, allowing them to make adjustments and communicate with their teams during a race. The limited in-car adjustments available in NASCAR, with only brake bias being adjustable during a race, adds an extra layer of complexity.

In conclusion, the podcast wraps up with a discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new aerodynamic regulations in NASCAR. Murphy expresses excitement about the future of motorsports, particularly the potential for collaboration and knowledge-sharing between different racing series. The episode provides a comprehensive exploration of the intricacies of aerodynamics and strategy in NASCAR, offering valuable insights into the world of high-speed racing.

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