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Jimmie Johnson's winning Brickyard 400 secrets revealed

Jimmie Johnson's winning Brickyard 400 secrets revealed

So what tricks did Chad Knaus (R) pull this time? Rivals say they know just what he did to help Jimmie Johnson to victory lane at Indianapolis....but they just don't know how he did it. NASCAR says it's all legal anyway

   By Mike Mulhern

   POCONO, Pa.
   And the price of racing goes up:
   Jimmie Johnson's Brickyard 400 victory was so clear-cut, and followed by a rash of complaints from rivals, that a big question all week has been just what did crew chief Chad Knaus have in that Chevy that made Johnson so dominant?
    Rivals here say the rear-end of Johnson's Chevy was somehow 'off-set' so the car went through the corners faster.
    "NASCAR has set a limit on how much 'skew' you can have in the rear-axle...and they have figured out a way to defeat that," Jack Roush says. "And they got an aerodynamic advantage out of it.
   "I've talked with NASCAR about it, and NASCAR says what they (Knaus and Johnson) have done is within the guidelines of the rules, and that they don't intend to do anything about it, until next year.
    "It makes the car go faster through the corners. When you get more 'skew' in the car, you generate more sideforce, and sideforce helps you turn around the corner.
    "It probably takes more horsepower to go down the straightaway. But it you can take drag in the car and generate downforce, as an aerodynamic benefit, it's almost always worth the drag.
   "The extra power it might take to accelerate to 200 mph would be of small consideration, to getting more downforce for the corner."


   Brad Keselowski explains....well, sort of (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   Brad Keselowski, who was the first to see Johnson's car in action at Indy and radioed his crew in the opening laps, says NASCAR's current rule on that part of the car is only a 'static' check in pre-race inspection, "but no dynamic."
   Keselowski says he doesn't know the exact numbers involved but that Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus "found a way to make dynamic different."
    So now every other team that wants to try to be competitive with Johnson and Knaus -- like here -- will have to figure out how to do the same tricks.
    Can Roush and Ford, in the five days since discovering the new Chevy trick, come up with their own version? And how long might that take?
   "That's a secret," Roush said. "You can't expect me to answer that question.
    "If we saw an area where someone was doing better than us it, it would not only be our intention to match it but to try to better it."
    In just five days or so?
    "Stay tuned," Roush says with a smile.



    Jack Roush says he too knows the winning Indy Brickyard trick. Now can he match it? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   That isn't the only curious situation being discussed here in the NASCAR garage during practice for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 (1 p.m. ET)and Saturday's pole runs (10:40 a.m. ET).
   Chevrolet's long-awaited 2013 NASCAR SS, finally, is set to be on the track for public view for the first time next Tuesday and Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway during Goodyear tire testing.
   And Goodyear's Stu Grant says fans can watch from the grandstands.
   However it doesn't look like the purported 2013s at Martinsville will in fact be race-ready NASCAR 2013s, because Jack Roush says that NASCAR still hasn't issued any official body templates.
   "The test is not really going to be totally meaningful, because nobody has sheet metal for these cars yet," Roush said. "And if you put a composite (plastic-molded) body on one of these cars, it's a lighter body, so you wind up with a car with a lower center-of-gravity....and I'm not sure how that relates to the actual race cars you'll see in 2013."
   So the Martinsville test is just a photo-op, so to speak?
   And what about those two 2013 Fords that Roush had on the track at-speed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in January?
   Roush said those two cars were only approximations of what the real 2013s might look like. "They were composite bodies, pre-NASCAR approval....with a lot of 'poetic license,' Roush conceded. "So there was no certain correlation to what the cars would actually be in race configuration.
   "Now the cars we'll take to the Martinsville test will be in the right (body) configuration, but they're not the right material and the center-of-gravity will be wrong."
   NASCAR just approved this week the specifications for the 2013 bodies. "Now we have to go to vendors and have stampings made (out of steel) and templates cut so you can be sure you're putting all the pieces together right," Roush says.
   "Now having a composite body off a mold gives you high confidence of what the car will be, because they (NASCAR) will make the templates actually off the 'male' (composite) that was generated by the CAD file and the CNC machines."
    So when will the real 2013s be out on a track, race-ready and ready to roll?
   "We haven't gotten the first template yet from NASCAR, and we haven't gotten the first sheet metal from Ford's vendors for the stampings," Roush said.
   "So we haven't even started building an actual (2013) car."


    Another winner...and now a trick revealed? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dynamic rear skew

Nothing new here, except to Na$car - if it wasn't invented here (within Na$car, it doesn't exist. This is thirty year old technology.

Chad's secret advantage is that he has an "open mind".

johnson car

chad kanus is just going to keep on trying thing till nascar has had enought .ii could see last year johnson car was much better than the others.i thought nascar told every one not to fool around with the new car but i guess that don't mean chanus bob brewer blytheville ar we call it hootersville

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