Nascar: Car of Tomorrow Debut! What do you think?
Today, at the Bristol race track, the car of tomorrow debuts. Here is a little description from the Nextell Nascar Website from those of you that do know whats up with this new car. What do you think about it? I for one do not care for it. In fact, I wish it was still the Winston Cup. Nextell is trying to make this a national sport when it belongs to the south and that is where is should stay.
CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR provided the latest round of updates Monday on its Car of Tomorrow project, which is slated for a March debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"The Car of Tomorrow will alter the competitive landscape of NASCAR in a very positive way," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "We believe the drivers will be safer than ever; we believe the racing will be better than ever; and we believe the Car of Tomorrow will help control costs over the long haul."
The culmination of a seven-year project undertaken at NASCAR's Research and Development Center had three primary objectives: driver safety; improved performance and competition; and more efficient cost-management for the teams.
The Car of Tomorrow was built primarily with safety in mind.
• Double frame rail on the driver's side with steel plating on the outside of the roll cage door bars to help prevent intrusion during impacts.
• Energy-absorbing materials installed between the roll-cage door bars and door panels.
• Enlarged cockpit -- roof is 2 1/2 inches higher and the cockpit is 4 inches wider. The driver also is up to 4 inches to the right of where he currently sits.
• Increased strength in the floorboard.
• An enclosed 360-degree steel containment tunnel for the drive shaft.
During the development process, NASCAR also discovered ways in which the Car of Tomorrow could improve competition with a pair of unique aerodynamic pieces that teams may adjust at the track.
• The rear wing is an adjustable aerodynamic feature that provides better balance and control in traffic. It replaces the rear spoiler.
• The rear wing reduces turbulent air behind the car.Rear wing enables trail car to race in "cleaner" air and promotes more passing.
• The rear wing angle adjusts between 0-16 degrees, enabling teams to change rear downforce to suit individual drivers and tracks.
• Various combinations and adjustments to sideforce-generating end plates and flat end plates allow for further at-track adjustments.
• Teams can adjust the exposed portion of the front splitter fore and aft from 4-6 inches to impact downforce and aerodynamic balance.
• The front splitter is another element to achieve the aerodynamic balance that setup, driver or the track's changing conditions might dictate.
• The adjustable front splitter enables teams to tune the front downforce to suit individual drivers and tracks.
• The front and rear bumper heights have been equalized so they will be aligned if impact occurs.
With the adjustable rear wing and front splitter along with a more defined body and chassis inspection process, teams will not need to build track-specific racecars and will therefore enable teams to be more cost-efficient.
• By using a more refined body and chassis measurement process, the need for track-specific car configurations is reduced.
• By providing the race teams a "blueprint" to build chassis and bodies, teams should be able to reduce the amount of time necessary to fabricate cars.
The Car of Tomorrow design has enabled manufacturers to have an increased product and branding opportunity with the Chevrolet Impala SS, Dodge Avenger, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.
• NASCAR has improved the ability for manufacturers to retain their car identity by maintaining many of the characteristics of their production cars, such as front nose, grill, hood, window panels and headlights.
• The Car of Tomorrow will more resemble a manufacturer's production car than does the current racecar.
Through input from team owners, NASCAR has implemented a multiple-year rollout schedule for the Car of Tomorrow to race in its Nextel Cup Series.
In 2007, the Car of Tomorrow will race 16 times -- 13 times at ovals less than 1.5 miles, plus the two road-course events at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International and the fall race at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway