NASCAR RACING SIMS

Richmond Coliseum

NASCAR Cup Series is the big leagues for stock car racing but like the PGA Tour and other sports, NASCAR has somewhat of a minor league system. The middle level is known as the Xfinity Series and that mid-level (often racing on Saturday) series of racing shares the same stock car format as the NASCAR Cup Series. They both race very, very fast mostly American made sedans. The Truck Series, currently sponsored by Camping World, is where younger drivers tend to get their start. Often racing under the lights on Friday nights, these supped up trucks are a sight to behold. They can go well over 200 miles per hour around some of the faster tracks in the nation and give birth to opportunities for up and coming drivers that might have had a much harder time making it to the big time in Cup Series NASCAR. Today, those who understand how to play the numbers are much more likely to graduate from NASCAR truck racing to Xfinity and ultimately get to the big time with NASCAR Cup Series.

Race simulations is one of the biggest ways that today’s top NASCAR teams gain an edge on the competition. Simulating the race conditions and speculating on how other teams will react is a perfect solution for AI or artificial intelligence. Huge computing power is needed for this feat but the budgets for these race teams can accommodate such big processing needs. How will “Team A” respond to “outcome B” and then compounding said effects over hundreds if not thousands of outcomes is the nature of NASCAR simulations. If the crew chief is barking instructions into your ear based on the quickly calculated math – then you can adjust your strategy on the fly. Perhaps you take a pit stop sooner because the big math says to do so? Perhaps, now is the time to change your tires based on the temperature and the results of other cars? Maybe, with weather looming rain slicks would give an advantage to a driver about to stop in for fuel? Feedback from the computer and fed into a NASCAR race simulation software program might lead to an adjustment of any number of ground effects that can improve traction and-or increase speed for upcoming laps.