It's no secret that the Car of Tomorrow has drawn wave upon wave of criticism for its perceived shortcomings -- the cars look exactly alike across manufacturers, the cars have little engineering tolerance, the cars are like cinderblocks with wheels. And while it's indisputable that the Car of Tomorrow has changed racing, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon chief among those who have had difficulty adjusting to its new challenges, the aesthetic look of the car is now on the table.
FOX Sports' Lee Spencer is reporting that Sprint Cup cars could follow in the steps (tire tracks?) of the Nationwide Series and adjust the looks of cars based on manufacturer. "We're not talking about a new race car," said John Darby, Sprint Cup Series director. "We're talking about body modifications and making model changes that will help the identity and the look of the cars. It's all from an appearance format, not to change the race car itself."
Okay, so, half a loaf. NASCAR fans complain -- oh, if I had a nickel for every time I typed those three words -- that the Sprint Cup car has little resemblance to anything currently on the road. But as Darby noted, that wasn't the primary initial concern; safety and aerodynamics were.
But by this point, with years of research into the safety and engineering of the cars, NASCAR is at the point where it knows what works and what doesn't in the overall design. "The fact is there’s a lot of design features and sculpturing and things that you can put into cars that aren’t aerodynamically sensitive enough to worry about," Darby said. "That’s where we’re headed now is really allowing the manufacturers to focus on those spots to bring out all the identity they can because that’s the value to the manufacturers."
The new designs aren't expected to be ready before August 2012. So no need to rush out and buy die-casts just yet.
NASCAR looking at new Cup car for 2013 [FOX Sports]