By admin | February 28, 2013
By Richard Allen
Now that the Daytona 500 is over, the real test for NASCAR newest car is set to begin. This season marks the first use of the latest version of racer employed by the sanctioning body. The so called Gen-6, for sixth generation car, now has one race under its imaginary belt, but the Daytona International Speedway is not the track that was supposed to see the greatest improvement from the new ride.
While the car still uses the same skeleton as its predecessor, the Car of Tomorrow, it has a new body design which allows for brand identity. The Gen-6 also has decreased right side and overall weight in comparison to the CoT. It is hoped that the varying aerodynamics among the manufacturers along with the reduced weight will allow cars to run side by side and pass more than has been the case in recent years on the majority of tracks used by NASCAR.
The Sprint Cup schedule calls for races to be held on the one-mile Phoenix International Speedway, the 1.5 mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway and the two-mile Auto Club Speedway over the next four weeks.
It’s those type of tracks, not the restrictor plate speedways like Daytona, where the Gen-6 must provide the greatest improvement in the competition. The fifth generation car proved to be so aerodynamically sensitive that drivers were often unable to pass due to “losing the nose” of their car when they got too close to the vehicle in front of them. As a result, races on the non-plate tracks, particularly the 1.5 - 2 mile ‘cookie cutters’, often ran much like high speed parades with little passing or close quarter racing.
Will the Gen-6 provide the right combination to end the parades? Or, with no passing taking place, will track position at the front of the parade remain so critical that races will continue to be won based on fuel mileage and/or the fastest pit stops?
One race or a series of four races will not provide enough information to fully answer those questions. But make no mistake, the real test for this car will begin this weekend in Phoenix. Hopefully, there will at least be hope for better competition based on what we see this week and over the next four weeks.
Topics: Articles |