1994-12-01

Aerodynamic Development of a Successful NASCAR Winston Cup Race Car 942521

This paper describes the methodology used to achieve optimum aerodynamic performance of the 1989 through 1994 Chevrolet Lumina Winston Cup race car, and demonstrates the continuous improvements successfully used to respond to rule changes and competition. The development will be documented from construction of a prototype race car, through one third scale model testing, and the detail development required to continually improve performance and meet changing body rules which stringently limit body modifications.
Despite these limitations, track and wind tunnel testing of development vehicles contributed to driver's and manufacturer's championships in the first racing season. The continuous improvement process, which includes ongoing wind tunnel and track tests, has resulted in improvement or at least maintenance of drag coefficient along with lift coefficient reduction of up to 0.050 each year.
Special test methodologies developed to better understand specific aerodynamics questions such as the effects of vehicle attitude and engine air inlet performance are also discussed.

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