Like so many other parts on our race cars, the wheel has undergone considerable development and improvement over the last 20 or so years. The wheel is under more stress than we might realize and it is the last piece of metal between our car’s suspension and the racing surface. The reason we needed to further develop the strength of the circle track racing wheel is because of the forces that act on it and the way in which those forces concentrate on small areas of the wheel. To illustrate the point, if we have a 2,800-pound car and a 50/50 front-to-rear weight percentage distribution, we have 1,400 pounds supported by the two tires at each end of the car. During cornering, the tires resist the lateral forces by gripping the track surface, and each tire transfers this force to the wheel. The wheel is the first mechanical part on the car that resists the cornering forces. Here is how the wheel accomplishes that task.
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