Slideshow: Scenes From the Indy 500

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A close-up of the front of Tony Kanaan's IndyCar. Kanann, of KV Racing, took third in the race Sunday, May 27.
A close-up of the front of Tony Kanaan's IndyCar. Kanann, of KV Racing, took third in the race Sunday, May 27.

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Beth Stackpole
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Lessons to be had
Beth Stackpole   5/31/2012 7:27:43 AM
You gotta love America's obession with racing. I always find it hard to believe that NASCAR consistently ranks No. 1 in terms of viewer participation compared with other professional sports. The upside is, as this slide show well points out, there are lots of engineering takeways in tuning performance and on-the-fly design.

Charles Murray
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Re: Lessons to be had
Charles Murray   5/31/2012 7:05:34 PM
I agree, Beth. If you watched the Indy 500 on ABC Sunday morning, there's a palpable thrill to ithe sights and sounds of the event, even for those of us sitting and watching from our easy chairs.

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Re: Lessons to be had
notarboca   6/1/2012 2:39:41 AM
As an engineer, I am definitely fascinated by the racing world.  With NASCAR, who knew?  I thought they put big motors in regular cars and raced around.  WRONG!  These machines are really something else, not only the engines themselves but the chassis, balance, shocks, tires, fuel, safety systems, and so on.  Indy cars and Formula One are really outta this world when it comes to electronics and sensors.

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Re: Lessons to be had
RICKZ28   6/1/2012 2:46:44 PM
That's part of the reason I like to go see the races in person, to view the race cars up close, as well as the pit stop area.  I've already been to the NASCAR Cup race this year at AutoClub Speedway in Fontana, California.  I'll probably be going to the IndyCar season finale at the same 2-mile banked-turn oval track this September.  A top level professional sports event is an all-day affair since there's so much besides the actual race.

The revolution of race car safety in the last 12 years is very impressive.  That's a big part of the engineering since the cars are more than powerful enough and fast.  Reliability has also greatly improved, not nearly as many mechanical failures these days.


Rick DeMeis
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Behind the scenes at Indy
Rick DeMeis   5/31/2012 1:49:01 PM
Readers may want to see how IndyCar racing has changed (or stayed the same) over the last decade. Here's a Design News feature where I got to go behind the scenes at one team's engineering center:

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