Students experience the phenomenon of NASCAR race car tires and brake pads reaching temperatures so high that the brake pads glow red during a race!
Students’ questions about this phenomenon create the need to investigate how the forces acting on the tires during the race cause the tire temperature to rise dramatically during the race. Students analyze thermal images of tires captured during a race and the coefficient of friction of the tires at different temperatures to determine how friction can help a car win—or lose—a NASCAR race.
- Fox thermal cam video of pit stop with tire change – (video clip A)
- Real-Time Tire Surface Temperature Overlay While Driving (video clip B)
- Friction and Heat—Science of Speed (clip C, 0:22–2:15)
- Thermal Camera Images A-E
- Tire temperature vs. coefficient of friction graph from Tyre Dynamics (Racecar Engineering article).