NASCAR Nose Re-Design

The 2010 NASCAR had some clear "non-production" features, including the front end. In this episode Allison and Vince dig into how designers made the 2011 cars look more like the production versions without compromising performance. NASCAR engineer Bill Ferguson gives us the inside scoop on the 2011 nose design.

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We recently spoke with Bill Ferguson, Senior Designer at NASCAR¦s tech center in North Carolina, and he told us about one particular design challenge.

(The nose of the 2010 cars was designed for performance, and while it does the job exceptionally well, it doesn¦t look like the Impala in my driveway÷

NASCAR fans like their race cars to look like the cars they see on the road.

The NASCAR version of the nose serves some important aerodynamic purposes. It holds the splitter about an inch off the ground, and it provides venting to the front brakes to keep the pads, calipers and rotors cool. Bill designed 6 different sketches of what the nose might look like. Those were run by a panel to see which one would be most favorably received by race fans. The nose design itself is a complex shape that had to match the performance characteristics of the old nose. After all, race fans weren¦t going to be happy with slower cars at Daytona!