Race Cars vs EV’s

Yesterday I watched a real live sporting event on regular TV. The first time ever NASCAR street race that took over some of Chicago’s major roadways was televised in the rain. For what ever reason I stopped watching sports on TV several decades ago., except for cage fighting which I fell in love with. There is nothing better than watching two muscle bound gladiators pounding, and kicking the hell out of one another usually to near death before the ref. stops the fight. For some reason this race caught my fancy and I turned it on. Seeing Chicago draped in low clouds and with the most scenic part of the city all blocked off to tourists, and from local traffic was definitely different. I had been reading the opinion pages about how the city lost it’s collective mind when it agreed to hold this race here. The actual race lasted about three hours, but between the planning, and preparation to construct safety barriers, grandstands, pits, and all the accoutrements of a race track began several months ago. Grant Park, which is where the race took place, is a popular place for people during the summer time with baseball leagues, tennis leagues, soccer, music fests, Taste of Chicago, and more being forbidden to the general population. The people were not happy campers to lose their sport in favor of a bunch of loud muffler-less race cars. People be damned, the City of Chicago comes first before the people. I watched the race in it’s entirely, and actually enjoyed it. I wished I had gone to be a part of history.

Rush Hour Traffic In Downtown Chicago

Many thoughts came to mind during the event. One was what will happen to NASCAR when the world turns electric in three to ten years, and there are only whisper quiet electric cars to use? How long will the races be? I read reports of people driving their cars across country who have to stop every two hundred miles for a charge. This tells me that all the races will be very short induration, like a hundred miles or so. What happens to the Indy 500? Will it become a memory or will it remain an event? How will racers cope with cars that erupt into flames as their batteries over heat? Will these cars have drivers? What happens to all the fans who pay extra to visit drivers in pit row to seek autographs when there are no drivers to be found? WiIl pit stops for fuel be replaced with garage stops for battery replacement? Perhaps it will be easier to change the driver to a new car than it would be to replace the battery during a fuel stop. How would NASCAR limit horsepower as they do now? Would they limit battery voltage? My personal experience with battery powered wood working tools is that higher voltage batteries take longer to discharge and are more powerful. The same holds true for electric motors. A famous slot car racing trick is to rewind the tiny motors with more wire in order to get more speed and power. Would NASCAR limit motor windings? My recommendation would be for NASCAR to stay the hell out of the technical aspects of electric car racing and let the back alley mechanics get creative with motor and battery modifications, much like they did with race cars in the fifties and sixties. Those were the days of real racing; team against team, manufacturer against manufacturer, drop the green flag and let the boys roll!

2 Responses

  1. The only way to really watch an event like this is on TV. I have attended SCCA road races at Road America and I totally agree with your assessment. One gets to see only single panes of reality when there are millions of scenes appearing all around the course. I have also attended NASCAR events where the cars just spin around an oval track endlessly. There too, one sees only what he is focused on and can miss any action that goes on away from the eyesight.

  2. Sounds exciting. Though sometimes I wonder how people watching a live car race enjoy it when all they catch is a blur every few minutes. But I guess more than that it is about being there and enjoying the atmosphere and exclusivity and creating some stories for the future.

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