Friday, January 8, 2010

Changes to Car, Rules in 2010

This isn't strictly Chad-related, but it's one of the most relevant articles about NASCAR I've read all winter:
NASCAR Says Rear Spoilers, Yellow Lines, "No Bumping Zones" May Disappear in 2010

NASCAR's Managing Director Corporate Communications said today that the sanctioning body is investigating the possibility of replacing rear wings with old-style rear spoilers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, in time for the start of the 2010 Daytona 500. However, Ramsey Poston told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the change has nothing to do with cars becoming airborne during high speed crashes at the circuits two superspeedways; Daytona and Talladega.

"We took a car to the wind tunnel after last year's fall race at Talladega and recreated Ryan Newman's crash to as high a degree as possible," he said. "Those tests showed beyond any doubt that the rear wing had no effect on the way that race car took off.

"With that said, we talked to 14 different drivers at the NASCAR Technical Center yesterday, and all 14 of them were in favor of going back to rear spoilers as a way of increasing downforce and improving competition. As a result of the input we have received from those drivers, and others, I think it's safe to say that we are taking a very serious look at the possibility of reintroducing rear spoilers for the 2010 season."

If NASCAR elects to move forward with the change, Poston said the sanctioning body will wind-tunnel test the package almost immediately, before scheduling an on-track test session prior to the start of SpeedWeek 2010.

Poston said NASCAR has met with every track operator since the end of last season, along with drivers, owners, crewchiefs and even media partners in an effort to determine what might be done to improve competition, and that the rear wing/spoiler is only one item on the list.

"If it helps us improve competition, we will move forward with it," said Poston. "There are other changes that we will announce during the annual Media Tour that I think will be welcomed by everyone; drivers, crewchiefs, team owners and especially fans."

Poston revealed that NASCAR is likely to loosen the reins on drivers next season, saying, "We're going to let the drivers drive." While declining to give specifics prior to the official announcement, it is expected that NASCAR will eliminate the controversial "no bumping zones" at superspeedways, and possibly even the rule prohibiting drivers from racing below a yellow line at the bottom of the banking at both Daytona and Talladega. (from Sirius Speedway)
Interesting! Obviously safety's the main priority here, but since it isn't a concern in this case, apparently, I wouldn't mind them going back to the spoiler, just because I think it looks a little better than the wing. Plus, if they think it really will improve competition, then heck yeah, go for it.

I'll be glad to see the "no bumping zones" go, if they do decide to get rid of them. I'm not so sure about the yellow line rule, though...that seems like a "danged if you do, danged if you don't" situation. On one hand, it's like having a wall down there so nobody can do anything too crazy while trying to pass, but on the other hand, it's a little too much like a wall because then it forces drivers to do other kinds of crazy stuff to avoid getting too close to the line. The jury's out on this one...I'll defer to NASCAR without any whining or complaining this time, hehe.

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