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View Full Version : Why do NASCAR drivers sit so close to the wheel?



JabberWocky
06-08-04, 05:39 PM
Is this an endurance thing ??

TonyJZX
06-08-04, 05:42 PM
So when they hit the wall at the double century, it's a certainty that the gene pool filter is cleaned up a little.

Seriously I thought it was a requirement of the HANS restraint system.

T.

JabberWocky
06-08-04, 05:53 PM
I was thinking maybe you get more leverage this way and hence, less fatigue in the arms/more endurance for the race. Why would HANS require you to sit close to the wheel? But, then again, V8 supercars are similar to NASCAR in vehicle and time behind the wheel and they dont sit as close to the wheel. Hmmm...

Zac
06-08-04, 06:02 PM
Can you show us an example?

Evo_Lee
06-08-04, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by JabberWocky
I was thinking maybe you get more leverage this way and hence, less fatigue in the arms/more endurance for the race.

how is that, they are only going around an oval :p

KanaL
06-08-04, 06:11 PM
if anything, sitting closer to the wheel would kinda cause some crapage of sorts, woodenit?

JabberWocky
06-08-04, 06:12 PM
It's hard to find a picture, more of an in car camera footage thing, noticed it on American Chopper during the Trim Spa bike episode.

JabberWocky
06-08-04, 06:14 PM
Another

JabberWocky
06-08-04, 06:19 PM
Evo_Lee:
They are still travelling fairly quickly. And the straights and corners are long. Have a vague recollection that they are set up to need to be steered down the straight ... but thats another story

itsnotagsr
06-08-04, 06:31 PM
No power steering?

Weight distribution?

23Kev
06-08-04, 06:47 PM
I'm pretty sure its for fatigue reasons. Sitting so close to the wheel makes it very easy to turn and when they turn for so long I'm sure it make a massive difference to shoulders and arms.

Kev

Nafe
06-08-04, 07:16 PM
Take a look at any decent touring car driver and you'll see they sit pretty close to the wheel. Better leverage, and less tiring.

I doubt it's *that* easy to steer a NASCAR around at 200mph plus.......despite what the movie Days of Thunder shows us! :D

oldenholden64
06-08-04, 07:29 PM
yould you prefere they sat leb style with one arm out the window trying to grab at the sill.

seriously though sitting closer makes for easier driving.

Kabal
06-08-04, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by JabberWocky
Have a vague recollection that they are set up to need to be steered down the straight ... but thats another story

Yes they need to steer to the right a whoooole lot when driving down the straights. Crazy asymmetrical setups.

mondo2000
06-08-04, 07:46 PM
Peter Brock pioneered the stiff arm driving style. At times it looked like he had his arms in splints.

I remember an old comic strip in Auto Action(?) which was a bit of a piss take on his driving style.

This was back in the Group C/ early Group A days, long before window nets.

mizone
06-08-04, 08:52 PM
They same reason Rally Car drivers do.

When the action happens you move closer to the wheel, this costs time, but if your already there...

Also Fatigue. Your arms aren'ty out stretched thus adding to strain. I haven't seen a V8 Supercar in the flesh but have noticed drivers sit lower in them under the wheel.. this would provide the same upward levarage. I'm sure some one here will know about this better than I do.

When I did follow NASCAR they used steering quickeners. Not power steering. Things may have changed though.

Billzilla
06-08-04, 08:53 PM
Because they're all named Cletus, Billy-Bob, or Cooter. *







* Note: This may not be a strictly accurate or useful answer.

Spammy
06-08-04, 09:10 PM
I always thought it was because their seats were mounted close to the steering wheel. ;)

NAliberty
06-08-04, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by Bill Sherwood
Because they're all named Cletus, Billy-Bob, or Cooter. *

* Note: This may not be a strictly accurate or useful answer.

But did need to be pointed out nonetheless! :D

NAliberty
06-08-04, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by Bill Sherwood
Because they're all named Cletus, Billy-Bob, or Cooter. *

* Note: This may not be a strictly accurate or useful answer.

But did need to be pointed out nonetheless! :D

ironhorse
06-08-04, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Spammy
I always thought it was because their seats were mounted close to the steering wheel. ;)



I reckon your close to the money,actually . Has anyone noticed most race car drivers in general appear to be 5-foot-bugger-all? The lighter the driver the lighter the car .

TonyJZX
06-08-04, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by NAliberty
But did need to be pointed out nonetheless! :D

Twice even!

Dick Trickle.

'nuff said.

T.

Spammy
06-08-04, 09:40 PM
Bill .....I think you will find they are called , Cletus Jnr, Billy Bob Bob Bob & Cooter the 3rd.

kwottro
06-08-04, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by mondo2000
Peter Brock pioneered the stiff arm driving style. At times it looked like he had his arms in splints.


Actually, the old-timers will tell you that Sir Jack Brabham did... All the blokes in his era drove a lot closer to the wheel too, until he started the shift back.

Type-R
06-08-04, 11:18 PM
Speed Magazine issue 13. John Bowe explains it

Zac
07-08-04, 12:22 AM
If it's in Nascar its probably only there because of the rules.

...and don't they race circuits in Nascar now?

FatBoy
07-08-04, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by Type-R
Speed Magazine issue 13

Shit, number 13 ?? Is Sandra Bullock in that one too ??

slip
07-08-04, 12:19 PM
Ever noticed how your arms might be bent when driving in a straight line, but when you move them to the top of the wheel when turning or countersteering, they are straight, and its a bit of a reach to the wheel? Fatigue + Control.

Sebstar
07-08-04, 03:28 PM
I like sitting closer to the wheel. For one, it makes me feel closer to the action (so i see whats happening). Also as mentioned, it doesn't strain the arms (i don't get how people can drive with straight arms!). Same goes for clutch. I test drove a corolla today. The owner is like a 5 foot woman. In her seating position, I found it uncomfortable to push the clutch...

And yeh, whoever mentioned Rally Cars, I was gonna say that... Just watch the indoor cam of a rally car... They sit pretty close (maybe not as close as Cletus in the second pic!)

haha

smellytofu
07-08-04, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by oldenholden64
yould you prefere they sat leb style with one arm out the window trying to grab at the sill.


The new fully sik leb style of sitting in the car is sitting offset to the steering wheel and towards the centre like this one.

http://members.optushome.com.au/smellyt0fu/Riceboy3.jpg

SICKM
08-08-04, 06:15 AM
Stand for an hour with your arms fully extended out, holding a brick in both hands.

Now try it with your elbows bent and tucked to your sides.


Thats the differance with sitting close or far back.
:)

itsnotagsr
08-08-04, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by kwottro
Actually, the old-timers will tell you that Sir Jack Brabham did... All the blokes in his era drove a lot closer to the wheel too, until he started the shift back.

That was because back then you didn't have power steering. The steering wheels needed to be massive to get more leverage.

Jim
08-08-04, 03:55 PM
Rally driver's sit quite close to the wheel, but mainly because you have to swing off the wheel so much due to so many sudden changes in direction you have to throw the car compared to say circuit racing or drags.

dannc
08-08-04, 05:29 PM
How is that comfortable???? Thats why when I get cars the drivers side seats are all F**ked up. GGRRR


D.

CussCuss
08-08-04, 05:38 PM
i find for normal driving its better to be far away from the wheel, mostly because of my legs, but when you get into it, a couple of notches forward is good.

Jim
08-08-04, 06:27 PM
depends how far forward we are talking. if you can touch the wheel with your nose granny-style, then this is detrimental to your back and legs as well as being downright dangerous.

if you have to work the wheel really hard such as in a rally then an inch or 2 closer than the accepted standard of being able to touch the top of the wheel with your wrists is helpful. comfortable? there's not much about racing that's comfortable other than the beers afterwards.

Forg
08-08-04, 06:42 PM
I think it's because they're not very good drivers.

SomeCrazyMofo_
09-08-04, 01:02 AM
Originally posted by SICKM
Stand for an hour with your arms fully extended out, holding a brick in both hands.

Now try it with your elbows bent and tucked to your sides.


Thats the differance with sitting close or far back.
:)

This was in SP33D mag wasnt it??

In that they interviewed a V8 supercar driver about the fool sik driving style, and he went off about how dangerous it is...

He pointed out a few reasons...

it takes longer to move the wheel when your arms are out stretched
takes more effort to move it
and your arms get way more tired really quickly...

Im sure spinning the wheel of a V8 supercar or nas car wouldnt be the easiest thing in the to do for a few hours

Maadmike
09-08-04, 01:09 PM
I much prefer having my UPPER body closer to the wheel, i just feel much more confortable and as mentioned before 'closer to the action'. As far as my legs & pedal control's go when im sitting close, i can't stand it in a normal sedan. If all cars came with a adjustable pedal box i'd bet we'd all be sitting nice and close :) I drive a van so sitting very close doesn't make my legs & lower body uncomfortable....and the van is very slow so anything that makes me feel i can go a bit faster helps :P

jampac
09-08-04, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Kabal
Yes they need to steer to the right a whoooole lot when driving down the straights. Crazy asymmetrical setups.

I'm pretty certain this is rarely used these days as they all run radial tyres. Back before 1990 they use cross plys and stagger was very common. With radials, you can't run diff pressures to get stagger, they need to be physically diff radius tyre to work.

karl_2ltGC
09-08-04, 06:33 PM
As for the Brocky driving style(sitting further back) could have been to aid weight distrobution...

As for the nascar, maybe it is to get some more weight onto the inside left wheel to keep it on the ground????

dodgyd
10-08-04, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by ironhorse
I reckon your close to the money,actually . Has anyone noticed most race car drivers in general appear to be 5-foot-bugger-all? The lighter the driver the lighter the car .

Except for drag racers where the opposite seems to be true. eg Victor Bray

Steve
11-08-04, 09:19 PM
By having your fore-arms as close as comfortable to parallel to the direction of travel of the point of the steering wheel you are holding on to, you gain the best mechanical efficiency.
ie. it's easier to pull down on the wheel. so you dont get as tired.
it's a basic bit of trigenometry.
Also, in the older style open wheeler, the drivers used to sit as far back from the wheel as possible, because in the event of an accident they would jump out. No kidding.