The following analysis was conducted at the Arizona State University open loop wind tunnel. Two 1/24-th scale NASCAR models were placed in a wind tunnel test section and were adjusted to study drafting that commonly occurs at superspeedway racetracks. The purpose of the experiment was to determine how drafting affects a leading and trailing car through changes in distance. A wind tunnel model was developed consisting of two 2019 NASCAR Chevy Camaro race car models, two bar-style load cells, and a programmed Arduino UNO. Two trials were run at each drafting distance, 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 car lengths apart. Each trial was run at a wind tunnel velocity of 78 mph (35 m/s) and force data was collected to represent the drag effects at each drafting location. Based on previously published experimentation, this analysis provided important data that related drafting effects in scale model race cars to full-scale vehicles. The experiment showed that scale model testing can be accurately completed when the wind tunnel Reynolds number is of the same magnitude as a full-scale NASCAR. However, the wind tunnel data collected was proven to be fully laminar flow and did not compare to the flow characteristics of typically turbulent flow seen in superspeedway races. Overall, the analytical drag analysis of drafting NASCAR models proved that wind tunnel testing is only accurate when many parameters are met and should only be used as a method of validation to full-scale testing.
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