Michigan State University scholar first to receive grant from NASCAR to study heat exhaustion in race cars

Joey Logano (22) leads the pack across the start/finish line during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) (Butch Dill, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – A Spartan at Michigan State University is reeving up their engines as they are the first to receive an educational NASCAR grant.

The grant is for Associate Professor David Ferguson, who studies heat exhaustion in race cars. The money was awarded to the East Lansing university student in Jan. 2023. This grant will allow Ferguson to study heat exhaustion from the classroom and his team of Kinesiology undergraduate and Ph.D. students to spend the 2023-2024 school year attending NASCAR races across the United States to collect data.

“It’s going to be a very large data set. We’re going to learn a lot about how drivers respond to heat,” said Ferguson in a statement. “NASCAR is involved, which means our data can influence safety of all the cars. Large-scale problems can be fixed now.”

Ferguson has nearly 15 years of motorsports research and has been using technology and equipment to conduct his studies.

“We’ve finally got to the point where we’ve optimized the technology and we’re taking advantage of every technological advance we have so that we can actually and quickly improve health results,” said Ferguson.

The associate professor encourages any Spartans to swing by his lab if they are passionate about physiology and high-performance vehicles.

You can view more Michigan State University news here.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.