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Nick Bromberg

The Nationwide COT's time has officially arrived

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Nationwide teams participating in Friday night's race at Daytona hit the track Wednesday afternoon for the first official practice with the new Nationwide car.

With conditions as hot and slick as they were, many teams decided to limit their laps as Friday's race will undoubtedly have different track conditions. They also wanted to minimize the risk of wrecking a car that crews have spent more than six months building.

The car's looseness was the talk of the final test session at Daytona, so it will be interesting to see how much teams have been able to correct the issue, and if the hot and slick pavement will make it worse.

One thing is for certain, however: The Dodge Challenger Nationwide car is infinitely cooler than the Dodge Charger Sprint Cup car, and the Ford Mustang doesn't look too shabby, either. Manufacturer identity has been a point of concern with the universal Sprint Cup bodies, and with the news that there will be a new nose on Sprint Cup cars in 2011, fan reaction to the Mustang and Challenger looks may influence those companies' decisions on what car to use for the Cup Series next year.

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