32nd Annual Meeting
October 29 – November 3, 2017
The Westin Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Vivek G. Badami, Zygo Corporation
Conference Dinner & Program
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Talk: Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 12:00 Noon
Dinner: Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 7:00 PM
Mode of Transportation: Walking
Located in Uptown Charlotte, just next to The Westin Charlotte, the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, includes artifacts, interactive exhibits and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop. This evening of dining will give you the opportunity to experience everything the Museum has to offer and have fun with your friends and colleagues. Meet some NASCAR heroes and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees before you visit the Museum.
Special Guest Speaker
ASPE is pleased to welcome Dr. Jim Cuttino as our guest speaker on Tuesday, October 31 during lunch. Jim will talk about the technology that goes into NASCAR and motorsports. Jim was a long-time member of ASPE and he is currently the owner and president of Camber Ridge, LLC. Jim obtained his BS and MS degrees from Clemson University in 1985 and 1987, after which he joined the Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation. While at Michelin, he developed software tools for tire design, conducted finite element analyses of tires, and supervised validation studies. He left Michelin to pursue his Ph.D. at NC State University, which he received in 1994. Jim taught mechanical engineering at The University of Alabama from 1995 to 1999 prior to returning to North Carolina to join UNC-Charlotte, where he developed and directed the NC Motorsports and Automotive Center. His research has been focused on vehicle dynamics and chassis / suspension systems, motorsports instrumentation, and topics in precision instrument design.
What is NASCAR? NASCAR Racing is popular sport in the United States, originating in the southeastern part of the country in 1948. NASCAR is an acronym which stands for “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.” NASCAR is a sanctioning body which oversees many types of racing across the country. There are three top series under the NASCAR banner, but the most well-known series is the “Cup” series. Typically the “Cup” series includes the name of the major sponsor; for example in recent years, Sprint was the major sponsor of NASCAR, so the “Cup” series was entitled the “Sprint Cup.” In 2016, NASCAR announced a multi-year deal with a new major sponsor, Monster Energy, so in 2017 and in future years, the “Cup” is likely to be called the “Monster Cup” or the “Monster Energy Cup.” When you visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, you will be seeing artifacts and learning about the Cup Series of NASCAR. Currently a NASCAR Cup race car does not resemble the “strictly stock” car as it began in 1949. The current cars are based on four-door American made cars, and are not the open-wheel, pointy-nosed race cars that run Formula One or the IndyCar series. NASCAR Cup cars have fenders, which allow side-to-side contact between cars without allowing the wheels to hook causing a big wreck. A Cup car weighs in at 3,400 pounds and has a wheelbase of exactly 110 inches. The engine is a 358 cubic inch V8, which can generate over 750 horsepower. The NASCAR Cup series features 36 races on 22 different race tracks. 34 of those races feature all left turns on ovals or D-shaped race tracks, while the other two are road races. The championship is determined by a points system, with points being awarded according to finish placement and number of laps led. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 26 races, 16 drivers, selected primarily on the basis of wins during the first 26 races, are seeded based on their total number of wins. They compete in the last ten races in what is called the Chase for the Cup.