From the Marbles

NASCAR’s 2013 model might look a whole lot cooler

Geoffrey Miller
From The Marbles

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Car2013

Credit whomever you'd like — whether it's Kyle Busch's blunt early assessment, sustained fan complaints or manufacturers wagering their upper hand — but we've seen some pretty big changes to NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow since it became the Car of Today in 2007.

The front splitter took on a more fluid design for 2011 and the sports car-inspired rear wing fell by the wayside early in 2010 in favor of the racier-looking, more traditional flat rear spoiler.

Now, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are inching closer to a new race car for 2013, and it might look a whole lot more like your street ride. That's the word, at least, from Sirius Speedway's Dave Moody who wrote earlier this week that the "B-post" (the vertical support in the middle of each side window) should be gone in 2013.

"There will be actual differences in the cars," said a NASCAR source speaking on the condition of anonymity. "If you cover the nose and tail of the car with a tarp, people will still be able to tell them apart based on the doors, fenders and A, B and C posts."

In an effort to allow manufacturers more design leeway, NASCAR will reportedly cease to distinguish between steel and lexan, allowing manufacturers to contour their NASCAR windshields and side windows identically to those found on their stock, production models.

"NASCAR will no longer govern the specific shape of side windows and posts," said the source. "As long as the surface of the roof, windshield, A/B/C pillars and glass fit the overall aerodynamic template, it won't matter what they're made of."

Now if you take a look at those photos, you'll see what Moody's source is talking about. Essentially, NASCAR will allow the side windows to be the dominant feature with — presumably — the B-post support hidden behind the Lexan. Windshield designs could be wildly different, too. {ysp:more}

Moody goes on to quote the source saying that these changes could allow Chevrolet to change its mind and compete in NASCAR with the Camaro. I'm not getting my hopes up on that after Chevy opted to stick with the boring Impala for the Nationwide Series while Ford introduced the Mustang and Dodge brought on the Challenger last season.

Regardless, this direction seems to be more fitting of the pre-CoT era when manufacturers would complain that another brand had an aerodynamic advantage and lobby NASCAR for changes. Coincidentally, that period is one in which many fans harken to when they long about how "NASCAR used to be". I guess it's of no surprise that a sport which operates in circles goes in circles, right?

Anyways, if NASCAR and it's manufacturer partners can figure out a way to make their race cars look a little more like their street brethren while maintaining the safety and racing advantages of the CoT, well, consider me a fan.

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