Aerodynamic gains outweigh other considerations in choosing shocks
Learn more about bump stops, which help keep the front end of the race car low to the ground by limiting the upward travel or compression of the front suspension.
The engineers, shock gurus and chassis specialists had pretty much perfected a way to keep the bottom of the old Sprint Cup car's nose stuck to the track through a combination of softer springs and special shocks that would hold the suspension down once it compressed either from braking or going into a corner. They are still working to perfect that accomplishment with the new car but they have made significant gains of late.Holding the nose down allowed them to achieve more aerodynamic downforce by exposing more of the car's front to the on-rushing air. And it also limited the amount of air that could flow under the car. However, it made the old car a bear to drive because it was basically a solid or un-sprung front end once the springs collapsed and rested on the bump stop. You could literally listen to the driver's voices quiver and shake as they talked on their radios because they were being violently bounced around by the uneven track surfaces and the only part of the suspension that could absorb any of the bump was the tires. It was faster but it was not a fun ride for the drivers. One of the ways the teams are able to achieve lowering the front end to the precise level they want is to use the a "bump stop" to limit the upward travel or compression of the front suspension.
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