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Chemistry on the Fast Track

Note: These questions go along with an article in the February 2007 issue of ChemMatters, published by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Answer the following questions using complete sentences. Rephrase the question as part of your answer.

For example, Question: What is the meaning of life? Answer: The meaning of life is to eat, drink and be merry.

  1. What do the letters in NASCAR stand for?
  2. What are the products of the reaction of gasoline with oxygen?
  3. What is the windshield of a NASCAR racer made from? Describe the properties that make it well-suited to be a NASCAR windshield.
  4. What material is used to make the flame-resistant suits NASCAR drivers wear? What makes it particularly amazing?
  5. What chemical compound makes up dry ice? What is the dry ice used for in NASCAR racing?
  6. What is engine displacement and what does it have to do with how powerful a car’s engine is?
  7. Why don’t NASCAR cars have mufflers?

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  1. What is tetra-ethyl lead and what purpose does it serve in the engine of a race car?
  2. What does engine knock have to do with octane ratings?
  3. What is the difference between the chemicals known as octane and iso-octane? Draw a picture to help you to explain.
  4. Why is it advantageous to have more iso-octane than octane in your gas tank?
  5. What gas is used to fill the tires used in NASCAR racers? Explain why.
  6. What happens to the temperature of the gas inside a NASCAR racing tire when the car is moving at high speeds? What happens to the pressure of the gas inside the tire when the car is moving at high speeds?
  7. Why can’t liquid gasoline burn?
Last updated: Mar 25, 2007       Home