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National Science Foundation

The Science of Speed: About the Series

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The Science of Speed

The roar of the engines ... the squeal of the tires ... and the race to victory lane. It all says, "NASCAR." A racecar is much more than steel, gas, rubber and speed. A racecar is a science experiment on wheels.

Photo of professor Diandra Leslie-Pelecky with a racecar.

The Science of Speed, produced for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and written and hosted by Diandra Leslie-Pelecky explains the scientific principles that are so essential to the NASCAR experience. The series is based on the knowledge she gathered writing her book, "The Physics of NASCAR." Leslie-Pelecky is the recipient of numerous NSF awards for science research and for science education and outreach projects, including Building SPEED, a project addressing challenges to U.S. global competitiveness by linking math, science and engineering to motorsports and, in particular, NASCAR. Read more about this project in this award abstract.

The Science of Speed made its debut in spring 2009. It was produced by Santa Fe Productions, an educational production company.

NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, its budget is $9.5 billion, which includes $3.0 billion provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 44,400 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.


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