It's official: NASCAR will send the rear wing packing after this weekend's race at Bristol.
Teams across NASCAR are unwrapping some gifts in the mail today as brand-new spoilers arrive on their doorsteps. Most teams tested the spoiler earlier this week at Talladega, and another test is scheduled for next week in Charlotte. The spoiler will officially debut at Martinsville on March 28.
After taking into account feedback from fans and drivers, NASCAR decided to make the change back to the more traditional spoiler in order to improve both competitiveness and aesthetic appeal. The wing was first tested in 2007 and rolled out fully in 2008.
"I think the racing is pretty good, but I think (the spoiler) is an opportunity to change things up a little bit," NASCAR VP of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "Quite frankly, the wing wasn’t accepted as widely as we had hoped it would have been by competitors and the fans alike. After much effort, we started looking and decided to go back to the spoiler."
What'll be interesting to see is how the shift back to the spoiler affects teams working to devise setups. Landmark Newspapers' Dustin Long compiled a list of the winningest drivers in the 92-race rear-wing era, and it broke down like this:
And on the flip side, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had exactly one win with a rear wing, and that was a fuel-mileage win in 2008 that had nothing to do with the car's aerodynamic setup. The best teams will remain the best teams, of course, but there will be at least a short period of time when everybody's back on equal footing. For a lap or two, anyway.