Drafting in Racing

Drafting like many other techniques in racing was learned by accident and by a racer named Junior Johnson. He noticed that anytime he would get behind another car his car would actually go faster. He suspected this was due to the lead car breaking the air resistance and the slipstream would go over the top of the first car as well as his car. The technique he figured out helped him to win the 1960 Daytona 500 even though he did not have the fastest car on the track that day.

When a car moves forward it runs into air and that air rises up and then forces the car down and that is what is referred to as down force and drag and both act to make the vehicle go slower. Once drivers saw what Junior Johnson did they started to emulate him the drafting technique was officially started. The trailing car must get with a few inches of the lead car in order for the air to flow over his car and not go do in between them. The draft that the front car creates is similar to a vacuum that pulls the second car with it. Some would think that makes it harder for the front car and in some ways that may be true but the back car is so close the front car that is cuts out a great deal of turbulence and actually makes his ride smoother and easier.



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