How Will a NASCAR Cup Car’s Brakes Handle Daytona’s Road Course? We Asked an Expert

As soon as NASCAR announced that its big, heavy Cup cars would be tackling Daytona’s full road course this August, a popular question arose: How will the brakes do under such punishment?


So we asked those who would know: Brembo–specifically, Mike Messina, head of the company’s motorsports program in North America.

GRM: What kind of braking setup will the Cup cars run on the Daytona road course?
Brembo: Teams will use their already-proven short track/road course packages.


Photograph Courtesy Brembo Brakes

GRM: What kind of braking challenges will Cup teams have to overcome on the Daytona road course?
Brembo: The Daytona road course has two very high-energy braking zones: Turn 1 and the Bus Stop, Turn 9. In both of these turns, the cars will be at or very near top speed just before the brakes are applied at maximum pressure. 

The good news is that higher speeds and longer distances exist before each of these braking events, which means, unlike a typical short track, the brakes should be cooler when the driver asks them to go to work. In this way, the Daytona road course is similar to a track like Watkins Glen.


Photograph Courtesy Daytona International Speedway

In the infield horseshoe, Turns 3 and 5 as well as Turn 6, the speeds are lower, but less time and distance between them means brakes don’t have as much time to cool between applications. 

Because of this, the brakes will experience conditions more similar to what we see on some short tracks. Understanding the scope of the temperatures your car is producing will be key in managing braking performance.

GRM: Will the teams be able to complete the entire race on one set of pads?
Brembo: No concerns about this. The pad volumes our short track and road course packages carry should be plenty.

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Comments
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mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
7/13/20 1:28 p.m.

Are NASCAR's really "big" and "heavy"? 

Google says minimum weight is 3300 lbs for a NASCAR stock car.  How much does that IMSA car weigh?  2700 or so?

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UberDork
7/13/20 1:32 p.m.
mikeatrpi said:

Are NASCAR's really "big" and "heavy"? 

Google says minimum weight is 3300 lbs for a NASCAR stock car.  How much does that IMSA car weigh?  2700 or so?

That's a pretty huge difference.  Like 22% more.

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/13/20 2:10 p.m.

"Poorly"

Kind of like, how much downforce does a cup car generate?

"Not much"

:)

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/13/20 2:12 p.m.
m4ff3w said:
mikeatrpi said:

Are NASCAR's really "big" and "heavy"? 

Google says minimum weight is 3300 lbs for a NASCAR stock car.  How much does that IMSA car weigh?  2700 or so?

That's a pretty huge difference.  Like 22% more.

And compare that to an F1 car at 746 kg (1,686 lbs), which people already complain about being "fat"!

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
7/13/20 2:24 p.m.

In reply to Dave M (Forum Supporter) :

To be fair, the old ones didn't have to carry an entire race worth of fuel, nor were they burdened with the weight of a hybrid system.

sergio
sergio Reader
7/13/20 6:46 p.m.

Cup cars in the rain at Daytona will be a caution lap parade I think. Too much HP, no downforce, no abs, and drivers with little wet weather seat time in cup cars. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/14/20 12:07 p.m.

To be faaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiir...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/16/20 8:44 a.m.
m4ff3w said:
mikeatrpi said:

Are NASCAR's really "big" and "heavy"? 

Google says minimum weight is 3300 lbs for a NASCAR stock car.  How much does that IMSA car weigh?  2700 or so?

That's a pretty huge difference.  Like 22% more.

And smaller rotors on the Cup cars, at least for now. 

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