Auto Racing Chemistry

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This paper is designed for the reader to understand how chemistry is used in Auto Racing. The first main point to be addressed in this paper is Safety and how chemistry is used in the design of race cars and racing safety gear. The second main point to be addressed in this paper is the engine and how the car works. The third main point addressed in this paper is tires. First, Safety is necessary in everything in life, especially in any form of racing especially when you’re reaching speeds up to 200mph like in NASCAR. Everything in NASCAR is designed for the drivers’ safety such as the windows. The windows are made of Lexan, a very soft but extremely durable material. It is so soft that it can be easily dented or scratched, but it will not…show more content…
A mixture of fuel and air within each cylinder is ignited by a spark from the spark plug. As the fuel combusts, it goes a chemical reaction, yielding gaseous byproducts. Gasoline can only burn if it is in a vapor. The chemical equation for the combustion of the octane within gasoline is: 2 C8H18(g) + 25 O2 Þ 16 CO2(g) + 18H2O(g).” (Science Of NASCAR) The gases the begin to expand, this expansion pushes against the piston, causing it to move downward. Each of the following eight cylinders will then fire, and once all eight cylinders fire, the process repeats itself over again. Indy cars use pure Methanol (CH3OH), while NASCAR’s use the same fuel as your everyday car a “leaded 110-octane gasoline. The lead is in the form of a compound known as tetraethyl lead (Pb(CH2CH3)4).”(Science of Nascar) A small amount of Pb(CH2CH3)4 which is Tetraethyllead this is used to keep the gas from igniting when compressed. Octane, C8H18 (sometimes called noctane or normal octane), is a hydrocarbon that can be compressed fairly well without igniting. Isooctane is an isomer of octane, it’s better at being compressed without igniting, so it’s used in regular gasoline and is given the value of 100 in the octane rating
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