NASCAR CAR OF TOMORROW TEST HELD AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY Largest field to date participates in test session TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 9, 2006) -- Thirteen NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams -- the largest field to date -- tested NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow at...
NASCAR CAR OF TOMORROW TEST HELD AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
Largest field to date participates in test session
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 9, 2006) -- Thirteen NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams -- the largest field to date -- tested NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday. The test followed Sunday's UAW-500.
Teams from Hendrick Motorsports (Jimmie Johnson), Roush Racing (Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray), Richard Childress Racing (Clint Bowyer), Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (Kerry Earnhardt), Evernham Motorsports (Scott Riggs), Wyler Racing (Ricky Rudd), Michael Waltrip Racing/Bill Davis (Dave Blaney), Haas CNC Racing (Jeff Green), Red Bull Racing (Mike Skinner), MB2 (Joe Nemecheck), and Chip Ganassi Racing (Juan Pablo Montoya) participated in Monday's test.
The session served several purposes;
• Testing different restrictor plate sizes.
• Testing different aerodynamic packages by adjusting the rear wing angle and wicker size.
• Using different restrictor plate sizes and aerodynamic packages to work towards eliminating a special unrestricted engine package at superspeedways.
The teams got on the track at 11 a.m., and began the day with individual runs. Following a driver and crew chief meeting with NASCAR, the teams held drafting sessions the remainder of the afternoon. John Darby, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Director, said the test was set up to serve multiple purposes. "This is the third Car of Tomorrow test we've had at a superspeedway and we're learning more and more as we go along," Darby said. "We were able to have the teams use several sizes of restrictor plates (beginning with 15/16 inch) and have them adjust their gear ratios accordingly to get the type of horsepower and speeds we were looking for at this type of race track.
"Once we're able to accumulate all of the data, the goal would be to do away with the need for a special engine package at places like Daytona and Talladega. Being able to use the same engine packages that we use at places like Michigan, Lowe's and California, the teams will be able to reduce costs in putting their various engine programs together."
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford, drove the Car of Tomorrow for the first time Monday. He said once some adjustments were made to the restrictor plates, he didn't notice any difference between the car he drove Monday and the one he drove during Sunday's race.
"The car may look different, but it really drives about the same," Biffle said. "We started out a little slower, but when we put on a different restrictor plate, we got the speeds up some. I think we'll find that you can get better runs and pull up closer to the car in front of you better than before (in draft sessions)."
Since this was Biffle's first experience driving the Car Of Tomorrow, he was able to get a good look at some of the car's new safety improvements.
"There is a good bit more room inside the car," Biffle said. "There are also energy absorbing materials located outside the door bars, so both of those are good things when it comes to safety."
The Car of Tomorrow is the culmination of a five-year design program by NASCAR's Research and Development Center. The new car's primary components are safety innovations, performance, competition and cost efficiency for teams. The new car will begin competition in 2007 at the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will race at 16 different events next season. The 2008 Car of Tomorrow implementation schedule includes 26 events. Teams will run the entire 2009 schedule with the Car of Tomorrow. Teams will be allowed to test their versions of the Car Of Tomorrow at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup test Oct. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.