Nascar oil

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Racing with thin oil has been a thing for a while.
Brings to mind this image of Smokey Yunick heating cans of oil with a torch:
Smokey-on-pit-wall.jpg
 
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It's my understanding that the major NASCAR teams have oil specifically blended for their engines. No were near off the shelf oil that everyone things they use. With the money involved they can afford to have it specifically blended.
 
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0w30 is a grade you will find in the nascar world. A long time ago when Bob Glidden was building some engines for Bodine I can tell you he ran pro stock oil in plate engine. He said “they don’t make enough power to hurt themselves”.

Our Pro Stock teams run 0w3 to 0w5 currently. We have run 0w2 which is 2.01 [email protected] The oil did its job very well, however it was uncomfortable for the drivers seeing almost no oil pressure when staging.
The parts were beautiful.

Yes TF/FC will pretty universally run a straight 70 due to the fuel dilution from Nitro/methanol.
What oil are Sprint Cars running these days?
 
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Only a handful use Mobil 1. The biggest group of them (by far) use an oil from Driven (formerly Joe Gibbs). It has a KV100 of 7.0-7.5 cSt which is, in fact, about a 0W-16 equivalent. Sump temperature at Daytona is ~280°F with the oil temperature at bearing exit near 355°F. They use a 0W-5 for qualifying. They'll go about 4 races on an engine, only changing it then just to keep a fresh bullet in the hole. Excessive wear is uncommon, and engine failures (in general) are even less common.
I've heard this same thing mentioned before. Teams, even with an major oil sponsorship, using Red Line or such. I would have no idea if that is true or not and I am not questioning you but I always wondered; are we to believe that Mobil, Pennzoil, Valvoline or Castrol, with all their resource's, are not capable of blending an oil as good or better than a smaller entity such as Driven or Red Line? What are these two doing that the other big boys can't or won't?
 
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I've heard this same thing mentioned before. Teams, even with an major oil sponsorship, using Red Line or such. I would have no idea if that is true or not and I am not questioning you but I always wondered; are we to believe that Mobil, Pennzoil, Valvoline or Castrol, with all their resource's, are not capable of blending an oil as good or better than a smaller entity such as Driven or Red Line? What are these two doing that the other big boys can't or won't?

It's not that they can't, it's that it's not in their wheelhouse. The R&D required isn't in their interest, nor is the quantity. The big brands are blending multi-thousand gallon batches so smaller batches for a niche are outside of their scope. The R&D for their oils are mostly done by the additive companies like Infineum and Lubrizol, who will put together an additive package that meets API SP (or whatever standard). In blending the oils, Valvoline, Castrol, etc... will buy the add pack, blend it in base oils per the provided recipe with the add pack, slap a starburst on it, and send it out the door. They likely take a sample from each batch for QC purposes, ensuring the blend went according to plan, but that's about the extent of their lab work. It's not like the small brands like HPL, Amsoil, Red Line, etc... who have full purpose dedicated labs in house, live fire engine testing, freedom away from the API umbrella, and are easily setup to blend one-off batches as small as a 5 gallon pail with remarkable accuracy. While the big brands could certainly do that, their focus is elsewhere. The small blenders are way ahead of them in terms of R&D in the racing world.

They do produce "racing" oils, with Mobil 1 Racing probably being the one with the most R&D behind it of the big brands. (judging by the add pack and properties) Oils like VR1 are essentially white bottle Valvoline with 80% more ZDDP so not really anything special but serves the purpose.

To blend an oil for a NASCAR cup engine, there's testing involved that you don't see in typical API stuff. Things like SRV for seizure and friction coefficient, CFR octane testing for the inevitable oil transport into the chambers, adjusting formulas to achieve more power through the burning of said oil, etc... Sometimes it involves blowing up a $75k engine (or multiple $75k engines) to keep pushing that envelope.

Don't they rebuild the engine after every race?

Usually no. They'll go 4-5 races on an engine. Even then, they only swap out the engine to keep a fresh bullet in the hole. They could realistically go an entire season on one engine if they really wanted to, (some low budget teams may go 10+ races) but you start to see a slight power loss after 2500 miles of sustained WOT and 7500+ rpm, mostly attributed to the thin rings just wear out from the heat and not sealing as well. A lot of times, the cylinder crosshatch after 4 races will still be as beautiful as when it went together. The valve seats also take a beating from the spring pressure and cam lobe intensity, valve springs wear out, etc... It's rare that an engine is pulled due to a mechanical failure, much less an oil related mechanical failure.
 
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Joined
Jun 29, 2016
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It's not that they can't, it's that it's not in their wheelhouse. The R&D required isn't in their interest, nor is the quantity. The big brands are blending multi-thousand gallon batches so smaller batches for a niche are outside of their scope. The R&D for their oils are mostly done by the additive companies like Infineum and Lubrizol, who will put together an additive package that meets API SP (or whatever standard). In blending the oils, Valvoline, Castrol, etc... will buy the add pack, blend it in base oils per the provided recipe with the add pack, slap a starburst on it, and send it out the door. They likely take a sample from each batch for QC purposes, ensuring the blend went according to plan, but that's about the extent of their lab work. It's not like the small brands like HPL, Amsoil, Red Line, etc... who have full purpose dedicated labs in house, live fire engine testing, freedom away from the API umbrella, and are easily setup to blend one-off batches as small as a 5 gallon pail with remarkable accuracy. While the big brands could certainly do that, their focus is elsewhere. The small blenders are way ahead of them in terms of R&D in the racing world.

They do produce "racing" oils, with Mobil 1 Racing probably being the one with the most R&D behind it of the big brands. (judging by the add pack and properties) Oils like VR1 are essentially white bottle Valvoline with 80% more ZDDP so not really anything special but serves the purpose.

To blend an oil for a NASCAR cup engine, there's testing involved that you don't see in typical API stuff. Things like SRV for seizure and friction coefficient, CFR octane testing for the inevitable oil transport into the chambers, adjusting formulas to achieve more power through the burning of said oil, etc... Sometimes it involves blowing up a $75k engine (or multiple $75k engines) to keep pushing that envelope.



Usually no. They'll go 4-5 races on an engine. Even then, they only swap out the engine to keep a fresh bullet in the hole. They could realistically go an entire season on one engine if they really wanted to, (some low budget teams may go 10+ races) but you start to see a slight power loss after 2500 miles of sustained WOT and 7500+ rpm, mostly attributed to the thin rings just wear out from the heat and not sealing as well. A lot of times, the cylinder crosshatch after 4 races will still be as beautiful as when it went together. The valve seats also take a beating from the spring pressure and cam lobe intensity, valve springs wear out, etc... It's rare that an engine is pulled due to a mechanical failure, much less an oil related mechanical failure.
Thanks! Good info!
 
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Don't they rebuild the engine after every race?
Different races have different rules on how long an engine must last but basically yes, they're being frequently rebuilt. I don't want to have to work on the engine in my daily driver other than to change the oil, air filter, and spark plugs.
 
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It is probably a trade off with no detergency but low friction, just enough to last 1 race. Not something you would intentionally use in your own daily driver.
 
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