Stock car racing
Before the race most teams will do a statistical analysis to determine the expected amount of race slowing cautions, as well as their timing. You combine this knowledge with your data from previous races you can formulate a basic strategy.
Early in the race, strategy is often a follow the leader deal, when the leaders pit you pit, leaders often pitting on cautions that are about 20 laps apart or more. Some teams at this point will experiment with changing only two tires versus all four. The reasoning for this is the pit stop is much faster and will allow you to pass cars in the pits. However the trade off is often slower pace. Teams will sometimes try this in the middle of the race to see how the car responds to taking only two tires. If the car is still decent after a two tire stop we have another weapon to use.
As the race enters its later stages you have to see how many laps the car can go on fuel. A driver can slow down a bit in order to save fuel and can often stretch a few extra laps by doing this. Caution flag periods.
Sadly it would take entirely too long to go over every bit of strategy, this is just but a taste, strategy can become even more complex in other forms of racing as well.
Posted by Diane Meyer 4/8/15