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Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? #5396550 04/07/20 03:15 PM
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IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline OP
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Although she was clueless towards basic race engineering I admired Danica Patrick for her fearless driving in her early years but figured out soon she may have been helped by her height. (she lost that blind courage after her teammate died in a practice session and moved on to NASCAR).

Back in that time the Indy Racing League used naturally aspirated engined and two chassis, the Dallara and G-Force/Panoz. The second had a triangular airbox intake as opposed to the oval on the Dallara.

It is my guess at 200+ mph her height at 5' 2" sat her so low in the car her helmet didn't obstruct or disturb airflow into the sealed airbox.

What do you think?

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Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396553 04/07/20 03:18 PM
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I think if it mattered much, they'd be highly preferential to picking tiny drivers as is done for horse jockeys.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396556 04/07/20 03:22 PM
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In the racing series I've been a part of, without diving down the rabbit hole into minutiae, a drivers/riders size absolutely makes a difference.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396564 04/07/20 03:34 PM
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If she had that much of an advantage due to her petite size she would have won more oval races, no?

I think people need to let go of the fact that a girl beat all the boys for once. It was a well-deserved team effort. It was simply (and finally) her turn. That's it.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: Bottom_Feeder] #5396583 04/07/20 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
If she had that much of an advantage due to her petite size she would have won more oval races, no?



Physical stature is not the only factor.

I've met her, and I liked her. I'm in no way being critical of her.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396585 04/07/20 03:47 PM
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Her size and weight absolutely made a difference. It doesn't matter whether or not the sanctioning body takes driver weight into account when weighing a vehicle. A smaller driver will have a lower center of gravity. Also a light driver allows the use of more balance which can help have a lower center of gravity also.


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Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: 02SE] #5396587 04/07/20 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 02SE
Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
If she had that much of an advantage due to her petite size she would have won more oval races, no?

Physical stature is not the only factor.

I've met her, and I liked her. I'm in no way being critical of her.

I was replying to the OP, not you.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: Bottom_Feeder] #5396591 04/07/20 03:55 PM
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IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline OP
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She took plenty of pole positions.
Not the kind of pole position I had in mind though.😁

Last edited by IMSA_Racing_Fan; 04/07/20 03:55 PM.
Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396594 04/07/20 03:58 PM
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Which teammate died ? I forgot.


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Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: Bottom_Feeder] #5396597 04/07/20 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
Originally Posted by 02SE
Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
If she had that much of an advantage due to her petite size she would have won more oval races, no?

Physical stature is not the only factor.

I've met her, and I liked her. I'm in no way being critical of her.

I was replying to the OP, not you.


That's fine. I was replying to your comment when I said physical stature is not the only factor. The car, the team, and her ability are all important factors.

My statement that I've met her and liked her, and wasn't being critical of her, was more of a general comment.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: bdcardinal] #5396620 04/07/20 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcardinal
Her size and weight absolutely made a difference. It doesn't matter whether or not the sanctioning body takes driver weight into account when weighing a vehicle. A smaller driver will have a lower center of gravity. Also a light driver allows the use of more balance which can help have a lower center of gravity also.


Centre of mass will also tend to be a bit lower for a female vs. a male of the same height. We're only talking a few centimetres, but since we're splitting hairs...


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Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: VQ35DE] #5396623 04/07/20 04:25 PM
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image1439872.jpgScreenshot_2020-04-07-16-21-28-743.jpg
Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396634 04/07/20 04:47 PM
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I always thought her lack of male upper body strength was why she hit the wall so many times as well in nascar races.........
those who dared race along side her were truly Fearless.

Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5396648 04/07/20 05:09 PM
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Fact is she ismore skilled than most and certainly better skilled than all on this and other boards that have slammed her. If nobody has noticed ,the trend for many decades is for smaller and smaller drivers. Even where weight rules are in effect the smaller driver allows you to place the weight more advantageously. I attend many races of differing series, and if they turn, invariably the winning drivers are smaller people nowadays. No more Jimmy Spencer's I'm afraid.


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Re: Danica Patrick's Indycar: horsepower advantage? [Re: fsdork] #5396650 04/07/20 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fsdork
Originally Posted by bdcardinal
Her size and weight absolutely made a difference. It doesn't matter whether or not the sanctioning body takes driver weight into account when weighing a vehicle. A smaller driver will have a lower center of gravity. Also a light driver allows the use of more balance which can help have a lower center of gravity also.


Centre of mass will also tend to be a bit lower for a female vs. a male of the same height. We're only talking a few centimetres, but since we're splitting hairs...


A friend of mine co-owns a NASCAR Cup team. He said that before NASCAR went to a spec pit gun, they were spending 6 figures a year on custom pit guns and they are a mid pack 2 car team usually.

Joe Gibbs Racing had the best ones in the field and you could hear the difference. The teams figured out that instead of nitrogen they were running the guns on helium. All for a half second or so faster pit stop.


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