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BSquared Crews for the Bray Autosport NASCAR PINTY'S Team!

This past weekend, I went to Autodrome Chaudiere, near Quebec City, for the Bud Light 300. I was asked to crew for Malcolm Strachan, pro driver for Bray Autosport, and head coach/operations manager at RCLUB. I've raced against and coached with Malcolm in the past, and team owner/spotter Jim Bray (Canadian Motorsports Hall of Famer) said 'Malcolm is a great driver but an even greater human being', and he's totally right - I'm super grateful for the opportunity to learn, as well as having BSquared branding on a NASCAR!

This was a massive learning opportunity for me, as I've never been exposed to oval/short track racing, and what an intro it was to be in the pits at the pro level. These cars are so different than any road course car I've ever seen. Different control arms for each side, positive camber on the inside tires, and rear axles aren't aligned straight, but instead, they were pointed with the left tire leading and the right tire behind (so the car turns left really fast). 500-550 ish hp, 3000lbs, screaming GM V8, still with a carburetor and distributor instead of electronic fuel injection, regulated with a spec restrictor plate, 4-speed H-pattern dogbox transmission sending power to a Detroit locking differential .... if any of these words are confusing, that's the point - what seems like a simple tube chassis racecar is really a mystery machine only made to do one thing: thrash on ovals.

As crew, I supported with mainly tire tasks and taking the car for scrutineering - getting tires swapped, adjusting pressures between practice/qualifying sessions, and I worked with his engineer to get pressures set before the race - and the pressures were odd, but made sense for the program: front left: 19 psi, front right 29 psi, rear left 15 psi and rear right 16 psi. These pressures and the odd alignment really make this car a cornering machine. Another weird task related to the tires was the 'stretching process' in which the pressures are overinflated to get the tire to the series' spec diameter, and then dropping them for ideal pressures prior to the race. This is possible because these are nylon-corded tires as opposed to the steel-corded tires we know and use every day on the street. Really neat stuff.

Another view of the asymmetry (picture below), see the front left wheels on the racecars. They're all set with positive camber (the top of the wheel sticks out more than the bottom). All these cars are parked with their steering wheel straight, but it looks like they're turned! In contrast, road course cars are set with a lot of negative camber on both sides and they also have a lot of caster for the dynamic camber gain in corners. However, the oval cars aren't setup with a lot of casters because they don’t want to change camber that much under load, since the static camber (camber without loading) is already preset to have the most contact with the road surface.

You can catch the race on TSN+, a super fun race to watch, 300 laps, where the fastest lap time was 13 seconds. It's the shortest track on the PINTY’s calendar, and one of the most fun to watch - lots of carnage, and drivers hitting each other. Malcolm was hit by the #24 car, which ripped off his rear bumper (I took the bumper home, and he signed it for me haha), and he then went back to fight for his position and spun the #24 car out. Goodness, I wish I got that on video. There wasn’t a single car that finished without tire marks on the sides of the door. This is a wild form of racing and I can see why the grandstands were totally full.

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