May 30, 2007

Solving the Energy Crisis....Using NASCAR

Much to the delight of Brien and my Eastern Shore brethern, I've been watching a lot of NASCAR this year. In light of rising gas prices, I felt I should share my fuel-saving tips, inspired by racing.

1) Draft tractor trailers - I performed an experiment coming home from work today. To maintain 65mph (which, granted, is 20mph lower than my normal speed) my V6 engine usually cranks 2200 rpm. Following closely behind a tractor trailer, I need 1800 rpm to maintain the same speed. If you're not sure if you are close enough behind the truck, open your window and stick your hand out. If it feels as though there is only a light breeze, you're close enough. (Disclaimer: the above advice is technically illegal. Pay really close attention to the brake lights)

Cole "Not Dick" Trickle taught us the physics of drafting using Nicole Kidman's leg and Sweet N' Low packets.

Alternate caption: This dude used to get your lady moist.

2) Know Your Fuel Intake - The fuel intake on a stock car is on the left side of the tank; yours probably is too. You've heard the expression "running on fumes", so why waste the evaporative product of your purchase? If you fill up, physics dictates that you push the valuable fumes out of the tank. Instead, why not ballast the left side of your car to make sure you are working every last drop of your $3.20 gas? It's easy, and don't underestimate the fun of wondering how much leeway the low fuel light really provides.

3) Use the Bump Draft - NASCAR is the most popular sport in the country, so assume the drivers around you are familiar with the concept of the bump draft. Using that, you can translate the air resistance advantage you experience from traveling closely behind a car into THEIR advantage. At highway speed, just give them a little tap in the ass. You'll be amazed at the appreciation they'll show. Hopefully they can return the favor a little on down the road.

blahblahbl lJimmy Johnson (48) reduces our dependence on foreign oil

Remember, stick with East Coast Bias for all of your fuel consumption reduction needs!

1 Responses:

J-Red said...

Just saw MythBusters this weekend on the "draft a truck" method of saving gas. Turns out it's even more effective than I had thought, close to 20% in increased efficiency at 100ft if I remember right.

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