Love It, Hate It, It?s Here
March 20, 2007
NASCAR’s next-generation racecar, the Car of Tomorrow, makes its competition debut Sunday in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The culmination of a seven-year project by NASCAR’s Research & Development Center, the new car offers major safety enhancements along with performance and competition improvements and cost management for teams.
Safety comes first: The Car of Tomorrow is two inches higher and four inches wider. It includes double, driver-side frame rails and steel plating to protect against side impacts; also energy-absorbing materials between roll-cage door bars.
A front bumper that’s three inches higher and an adjustable front splitter are two new features on the front of the car. An adjustable wing is the new rear feature. All promote smoother air flow, thus more stability and passing in traffic.
The wing and the splitter are adjustable components that will help teams control inventory. The adjustability allows a car to compete at different race tracks, eliminating the need for track-specific cars.
At team owners’ request, the Car of Tomorrow is being introduced on a multi-year schedule. It will compete in 16 of this season’s 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events.
Will the field be leveled with the new COT? Will Furniture Row Racing’s driver Kenny Wallace make all the right moves? Anxious team owners, drivers, crews, media and fans will be glued to their TV sets this weekend to watch the action.