In her new book, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky covers the science—and the humans—behind America's most popular racing series
Given that 75 million people are fans of the racing circuit, physicist Diandra Leslie-Pelecky probably doesnt have to worry too much about finding an audience for her book on the intricacies of stock-car racing, The Physics of Nascar. But this is hardly just a story for race fans. Its a crash course in chemistry, physics and more. In the first few chapters, she gets down to the molecular levelat some points literallyin describing the stock car chassis, diagrams how welding works, and even takes a few paragraphs to explain why the white paint on a car appears white to our eyes.
But its when she moves out of the shop and onto the track that the book really takes off, as she breaks down engines, brakes, tires, drag and lift; the dynamics of racing itself.