Daytona test notes 96-04-09

WALLACE TO TEST SPACE SHUTTLE TECHNOLOGY AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Rusty Wallace's NASCAR Winston Cup stock car team will test materials used to insulate NASA's space shuttles Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway with an ...

WALLACE TO TEST SPACE SHUTTLE TECHNOLOGY AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Rusty Wallace's NASCAR Winston Cup stock car team will test materials used to insulate NASA's space shuttles Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway with an eye toward using the heat shields at the July 6 Pepsi 400 and other NASCAR events. Penske Racing South, currently ninth in Winston Cup points, has worked with engineers from Rockwell International -- a NASA-affiliated agency -- for about 10 months trying to adapt space-age materials to a stock car racing application. The team plans to test its Miller Ford Thunderbird for about half a day at Daytona, according to crew chief Robin Pemberton, running an extended session with the material on the car and another session without the insulation. "We eventually want to make it available to everybody," said Pemberton. "Everybody's done a lot of different things to insulate the driver's compartment but in most cases the heat's already reached the floor of the car. We're trying to do a test to evaluate how we can keep the heat out of the cockpit." "We're testing some thermal materials designed for the space shuttle program that fit the design characteristics and criteria for an application in racing," said Rockwell's Suzanne Hodge. "We're doing a research and development effort on one of Rusty's cars outfitted with the material and various data loggers to quantify what we've found in other tests. We plan to make it available to the other NASCAR teams in the long run." The testing has been squeezed in among a busy NASCAR Winston Cup schedule; Rockwell's involvement with the space shuttle program, which has its next launch in May; and other scheduled events such as Penske Racing South's recent tire test at Suzuka Circuit in Japan. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand will be open at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through the Visitors' Center. Guided tours of the Speedway are available from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a nominal fee.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace
Teams Team Penske