|AeroDyn Wind Tunnel |
|Let ’Em Eat Cake! |
|First Wins |
|Sleepy’s Tool Time |
Dodge recently announced that it will become the presenting sponsor of NASCAR's Weekly Racing Series. The announcement came at the end of Dodge's first season back in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 16 years, and a year in which the brand captured its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturers Championship.
"Any way you look at it, this is an ideal addition to our racing activities," said Jim Julow, vice president, Dodge Global Brand Center. "On one hand, the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series provides Dodge Dealer partners with additional race sponsorship, hospitality and promotional opportunities for their customers and employees. And on the other, as a full-fledged member of the NASCAR family of official sponsors, it opens the door to even more ways to leverage our return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and work with other NASCAR sponsors."
The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge is America's premier weekly stock car racing series, encompassing 10 geographic regions and nearly 90 of the finest short-track racing facilities across America.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently took a different sort of test ride at Florida's Busch Gardens in Tampa. It wasn't in his red No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet, however. Earnhardt hopped on the Montu, an inverted roller coaster, for a little relaxation and high-speed thrills of a different kind. The Montu features a completely open cockpit and travels at better than 65 mph.
Following the ride, Earnhardt compared it to driving his NASCAR machine. "The g-forces are similar to those in a race car," he said. "It pushes you into the seat and makes your stomach turn."
AeroDyn Wind Tunnel Under Construction
Gary Eaker, chief aerodynamicist for Hendrick Motorsports since 1994, saw a need for his specialty-aerodynamics. On Nov. 2, 2001, he broke ground on the site for his venture, AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, located in Barley Park in Mooresville, N.C. While not everyone has a need for a full-scale wind tunnel test facility, the large number of NASCAR teams located in and around Mooresville certainly do. Eaker is determined to provide those services in a convenient and cost-effective setting.
The nearly half-acre building that will house the wind tunnel is small by comparison to other "conventional" wind tunnels. "While the need for a local facility has been obvious to any observer of NASCAR activities, the problem has been in the perception that one has to be on the scale of those currently in use (Lockheed in Georgia, General Motors in Michigan, and NRC in Ottawa, Canada)," said Eaker. "Our facility is going to produce similar wind velocity and greater measurability of the type that these racing teams are looking for. The tunnel will incorporate some unique ideas I have been working on for the past few years that will allow us to offer a more affordable package, making these services available to more of the teams."
The NASCAR community is eagerly awaiting the completion of the wind tunnel for more than one reason. AeroDyn has already signed up some top Winston Cup teams for more than 1,000 test hours. Foremost in the minds of the teams is the location. "These teams are on the road more than any other sports league in the world," said Eaker. "NASCAR Winston Cup teams have a 38-race schedule. Not having to travel to those remote locations to do their aerodynamic work will mean countless hours at home with their families and much lower costs to the teams."
AeroDyn Wind Tunnel expects to open for testing in Sept. 2002.