Testing on less-than-good tracks

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Craig W.
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Testing on less-than-good tracks

#1 Post by Craig W. » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:06 am

Lets talk testing and see what falls out of the conversation.

Testing has always been an area that's been difficult for me. Getting useful data and results on a track that's not race-prepped is tough. Traveling too far to test on a non-race weekend is difficult too. Any of you guys have a good method or approach for learning from testing at your local track?

On race day, I'll often shoot for a good but not great qualifying run off the trailer. If I feel I'll have a spot in the top half of the ladder from the first run, I'll play around some and try some things. But usually the first run just gives you an idea of that day's conditions and then you spend the rest of qualifying earning a good position.

The really successful guys seem to test a bunch and have an answer for most conditions somewhere in their log book. I just don't seem to get that much useful info.

What ideas do you guys have for applying data from a loose track to a good track?

Thanks.
Craig Watson
2QuickNovas Racing
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supernova
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#2 Post by supernova » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:39 am

What I'v seen is the guy's with the most money test alot have the advantage. Lets face it it's all about being able to aford and have the time to test which is something I don't have that's why it's taken this long to get to where I'm at. AND that's not far..........
When I do test I usually concentrate on what changes have been made to optimize, testing track conditions at the same time.
I have a notebook log that I log time and date, what the track condition's are and what changes made that got the car down the track. I have 2 tune ups, slower and slower right now.............. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Blackhoodmafia!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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John_Heard
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#3 Post by John_Heard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:05 pm

On a side note, our friend Dave Morgan has made the comment a few times about how much it costs per pass, and how you can lower that by making more passes when you are already at the track. For example, if you get knocked out first round see if you can make a test hit (or two) after the next round. Or, if you are at the track testing, instead of being lazy and loading up, make one more hit if you have time.

When you increase the number of passes while you are already at the track, you can lower your cost per pass quite a bit over a seasons time frame, and if it's a race you can test on a prepped track.

I would also say a data logger is a huge time saver in regard to limited testing, the more data you can gather on each run, the more you can learn. Video is also a huge asset as well. Jeff Holloway and I were talking the other day about filming the driver to watch how they release transbrake to see what hand movements are involved (to improve reaction times). The more data you can gather, the better!

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Craig W.
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#4 Post by Craig W. » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:57 pm

Dave's comments about making more passes while at the track are simple yet profound. Its easy at teh end of the day to just pack up and go home. Luckily its popular around here to have a 2nd chance race for the 1st round losers. So that gives you more runs and more fun for your entry fee money.

I've got an Excel spreadsheet on my track laptop that I log everything into. I look back through it all the time at the track and sometimes while just sitting around the house at night too.

The thing about the more wealthy guys testing all the time is they have to learn from the track conditions as the rest of us unless they are renting the track and paying for pristine prep. Somehow they take that bad track data and make it useful. That's what I'm pondering at this point.

Speaking of video and data loggers, it would be interesting to have a professional level person write a guide on the analysis. Sometimes at the track you just have a couple minutes to look at the data and video, so making good use of the time is critical.

Thanks.
Craig Watson
2QuickNovas Racing
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#5 Post by John_Heard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:40 pm

You're in for a treat once you have the new logger running. You'll study that stuff till the cow's come home haha...

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Craig W.
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#6 Post by Craig W. » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:40 pm

Its all wired up and going except for the oil pressure sending unit. Nearly impossible to reach it with the engine in the car and my motor plate blocks the port on the front of the block. I'll tackle that after the Gathering when I have more time.

I did a couple test logs and all seems like its good to go. I haven't figured out how to change PSIA to PSIG for the fuel and nitrous pressure but I'm capable of subtracting 14.7 :)

The fun begins Saturday. Should be interesting to play with the Dyno Shaft data.
Craig Watson
2QuickNovas Racing
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#7 Post by John_Heard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:15 pm

We expect all kinds of pretty graphs come Monday!

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Craig W.
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#8 Post by Craig W. » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:30 pm

Hopefully they'll be pretty and not a bunch of crazy looking runs.
Craig Watson
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Re: Testing on less-than-good tracks

#9 Post by BracketNova » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:34 pm

Along with what John said...that Dave said, our track has a bit of time in the gaps between the upper rounds, so if I'm not in them I'm testing :) They have never had a problem with it. It's almost two hours to get to a track where I am at. That's why I stepped up the trailer so we can start getting to the track the night before while they do test and tune, instead of showing up on race day.
"I always compare drag racing to lighting $100 bills on fire, only it's more expensive." - Craig W.

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