Thursday, October 1, 2009

Junior explains Coil Binding

I know a lot of you have asked me through our 3 Wide Life email about coil binding.  And we have actually done two Tech Zones on the subject.  But Dale Earnhardt, Jr. answered a question about it in my message board and I thought you might enjoy his take.  I think his explaination is one of the best I've heard and hopefully will allow you to better understand why racing teams do it.

Dale Jr. on Coil Binding

"Coil binding is still used in the COT somewhat, although its not the most common way to setup the front end. Bumpstops seem to be most popular.

"In the Nationwide and Truck series, coil binding is used extensively.

"Coil binding came about when people started to better understand the aero platform of racecars. Sealing off the valance provides much needed grip so running a soft spring would allow that to happen more consistently throughout a lap.

"The trick is to understand just how much you want a spring to coil bind. Too little coil binding at speed on new tires will create little or no coil binding as the speed falls off over the run. The car will become too loose. Too much coil binding can create ride quality problems and also over heat the right front tire and create too much PSI buildup.

"Teams use tire data and simulation programs to help them understand how much load is needed to optimize tire grip. This information will help the engineers calculate what type of spring will provide the best performance, as the spring will determine the load on the tire as it corners. Lets assume the data is suggesting that you run a spring that rates 1700 pounds at max load in the corner. Instead of actually running a stiff spring that will create that load, you can run a 350 or something in that range that will eventually coil bind and create 1700 pounds of load. Thus down the straights and entering and exiting the corner you have a lower car, creating more downforce." - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


"Hi again everybody..."  That's how I typically greet the viewers of 3 Wide Life every week.  Its not an original catch phrase.  I "borrowed" it from long time Sunshine Network talent, Paul Kennedy.  And I'm really not sure why.  Back in my local TV days at WFTV, I covered the Orlando Magic and I would watch and learn how Paul did his open to Magic pre game.  I can't say I ever even liked it, but when I did my first 3 Wide Life show, it just came out.  And now my producer likes it, so...

It's been a little while since my last blog on  I've had a lot to say and plenty of time to say it, but just didn't feel the juice to sit down and write.  So for those that kept checking in for something new, sorry.  I can't guarantee that I will update this new blog daily, but that's the plan.

As some of you know, my wife and I are expecting our first child in the next few days.  Not bad for a 40 year old!  We can't wait for our little boy to grace our home. 

So what's this blog all about anyway?  Well, if you checked out the old blog, it will be just like that.  If you are new, here is what you can expect.  It will NOT be a NASCAR blog.  Although I cover and love the sport, I have other interests as well.  I will talk a lot of racing, but expect NFL, NCAA, MLB and Golf.  I put golf and not PGA, because some of you know, I'm THAT GUY... who likes the LPGA.  And I have many opinions of how to fix women's golf (starting with a ban on tight knee length shorts.  Ladies, it makes your butt look big!  I'm just sayin...)

Oh yeah...Zooters?  It is my Dad's nickname, that happened to travel down to me through my high school friends.  It just stuck...although my TV buddies call me Scooter for Phil Rizzuto.  Guess you can't have enough names.  (Being Italian, I'm lucky its not "crooked nose or two-guns")

So thanks for checking out the blog.  My website is if you want to snoop around.

Bringing in 2009

Iowa defeats South Carolina in 2008 Outback Bowl

Well, I wrote a long blog entry and then got Vista lockup. So, I will attempt to rewrite all of that again, but in smaller portions. ughhh.

2008 New Years: I spent New Years in Pinehurst at the resort and had a very good yet quiet time. We went to dinner with Parker Williams and Tyler Hmiel at Elliotts on Linden and it was fantastic. Both Renee and I were on medicine so we couldn't drink, but still had a fun time watching the other couples have fun. We retired to the room to watch Dick Clark and not long after the ball dropped, so did my eyelids.

2009 New Years Day: 3 Wide Life went to Rockingham to cover the Polar Bear 150. It was the world's largest street stock race and it was awesome. My good friend Joey Meier, who is a pilot for DEI and spotter to Martin Truex, Jr. raced in it and finished 13th. After covering the event, I am so building a car for next year. Sponsorship needed!

2009 New Years Pt. 2: The highlight of the day. My Iowa Hawkeyes kicked the visor out of South Carolian in the Outback Bowl. I was the only member of the Rizzuti family not in attendance, but when I saw the score during a red flag at The Rock, I think I could hear my Dad shouting, "Give me an I!" Take that Spurrier.

Facebook: My wife dragged me kicking and screaming onto Facebook and boy am I glad she did. I have had the chance to get back in touch with so many good friends that I thought were lost forever. It is really cool. I even have some photos from the Polar Bear on there.

Finally: I'm not sure this is exactly like the first one I wrote, but thanks to everyone for a great 2008. I have a lot of things in the works for '09, both in racing and stick and ball sports. Not everything will fall into place, but I feel good about my opportunities this year. 3 Wide Life is now available in 90 million homes, so that has been a great success and we are just getting started with what that show can be this year. AND, I am going to switch this website over to a more dynamic HTML site with embedded video. I hope to have that ready by Speedweeks.

Alright, I have to go edit some tape for 3WL. See YA!