For years, NASCAR fans have heard about the effects of drafting on high-speed racetracks and how certain drivers (like Dale Earnhardt) were so good in the draft it was said they could “see the air.”
On Sunday, when NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing returned to ESPN with the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, a technical innovation developed by ESPN and SportVision let NASCAR fans "see the air" too with Draft Track, a special effects package that shows airflow created by NASCAR race cars. The new effect will initially be used on replays only.
Draft Track was created by ESPN in collaboration with SportVision. Using computational fluid dynamics information and wind tunnel data, SportVision developed a comprehensive model of the airflow as it affects cars in relation to each other. The system uses positioning data derived from SportVision’s patented RACEf/x system and the Draft Track computers calculate and determine the profile of the airflow many times per second on cars traveling at more than 200 mph.
See a video of what it looks like here.
The Indianapolis race was ESPN’s first NASCAR Cup race since 2000, but the network covered 262 Cup races during a 20-year period starting in 1981. ESPN and ABC will have live coverage of the final 17 races of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup on ABC. In addition, ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Busch Series all season, and its races are being televised with the same standards of production and effects that will be used in the Cup Series.
[ via Sports Business News ]