Four drivers including Tony Stewart tested NASCAR's latest change to its 'Car of Tommorow' as the revamped rear spoiler ran its first laps at Texas Motor Speedway.
Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations
FORT WORTH, Texas (January 19, 2010) – NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and
Brian Vickers became the first drivers to conduct an on-track test with
a new aluminum spoiler package that could be implemented for the 2010
season during Tuesday’s Goodyear Tire test at Texas Motor Speedway.
(No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet Impala) was the first of the
group to test the spoiler in the morning session, which was delayed
nearly two hours from its 9 a.m. CT start time due to moisture on the
1.5-mile, high-banked oval from heavy morning dew.
session kicked off at approximately 10:53 a.m. with temperatures in the
60s as Stewart rolled out with the wing and less than 40 minutes later
was utilizing the spoiler. Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry) also
got an opportunity to run the spoiler in the abbreviated morning session.
(the spoiler) was on a bunch. It didn’t seem to be a big balance change
which was good,” Stewart said. “That means you won’t have to invent the
wheel necessarily. It was a balance shift, but it wasn’t a big balance
shift. You’ve got two kinds of grip – you’ve got aero grip and you’ve
got mechanical grip. The spoiler is the aero grip and the tires are
mechanical. The mechanical grip is real important because it doesn’t
know if you are running first in line or 10th in line. I’m more of a mechanical guy.”
thought it (spoiler) was good,” Vickers said. “I thought it added a
little bit of front downforce, which is a good thing. I think it’s
going to be more accepted to the fans. It looks cooler – a little more
retro back to the older car.
haven’t been in a lot of traffic yet, so the big question is how it’s
going to handle in traffic. Theoretically, from what I’ve been told,
the difference between the two is that the spoiler is better in
traffic. The spoiler is going to be more efficient in dirty air and a
wing will be more efficient in clean air. Once you get in a lot of
turbulence, the spoiler’s not going to lose a lot of efficiency while a
wing really will.”
has not determined the specific dimensions as yet for the spoiler, but
the one that was being used as a baseline at Tuesday’s session was 64.5
inches wide and four inches in height with no contour in the design.
Also, the rear quarter panels were extended four inches toward the
NASCAR phased out the traditional
spoiler on the rear deck lid of the Sprint Cup Series cars and went to
a rear wing when the “Car of Tomorrow” project was unveiled in 2007.
The return to the traditional look provides fans with the ability to
differentiate between the four manufacturers more easily and hopefully
enhance the passing ability of the cars and overall race action.
Tuesday’s tire test was the first opportunity for drivers to test the
package and provide feedback on its effects on the car.
got one of the biggest spectator sports in America and they want to
keep it interesting,” Biffle said. They want to keep our fans
interested and they listen to the fans. They wanted double-file
restarts and they did it, and a lot of fans don’t like the wing because
they say it’s not traditional NASCAR. NASCAR asked us about it (the
change) and we thought it would be good to put a spoiler back on the
car or at least try it. I think it will be good.”
guess there was a part of me that was surprised (about the change), but
then there was a part of me that wasn’t. I’m really proud of them
(NASCAR),” Vickers said. “Last year this started with that big meeting
where they (NASCAR) got everybody together and started saying ‘Hey
guys, you know what, we’ve got a job to do here and that’s to provide
the best racing possible and right now we feel like we can improve in
some areas, so let’s all get together and put our heads together
instead of bickering over what we’re going to do in the media. Let’s
get together and do this right.’
started that meeting last year and this year talking about the spoiler
they had. I was down there for the NASCAR meeting and it went really
well. Last year they did the double-file restarts. You can definitely
see they’re headed in the right direction. They’re headed back more
toward some traditional stuff and really giving the fans what they
want. That’s something the fans have seemed to want. Is it going to be
a major difference for us on the track? Probably not, maybe a little
better, but I think the most important part is what the fans want.
That’s why they do it.”
(No. 16 3M Ford Fusion) and Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) had
to wait until the afternoon session to test out the spoiler, with Busch
not getting an opportunity until nearly the culmination of the session.
liked the way the car drove,” Biffle said. “It drove a little bit
different on corner exit than the wing did. I don’t want to jump to
conclusions, but it may have had a little feel like the old car in some
scenarios. You can tell it has some more drag because they made it a
little bit bigger and wider. I’m anxious to get side-by-side with some
guys and around other cars and see how it drives.”
the spoiler on, the car had a looser feel to it,” Busch said. “The car
was turning better and it felt like the car was sliding a bit more.
When you ‘A-B’ the sets of tires – like last year’s tires that we won
on with the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge – and the tire that Goodyear wants
to head in the general direction of, it tightened the car back up for a
nice comfortable feel. And that’s what we have to do is ultimately, but
together a better package for drivers to drive on the track which would
create more side-by-side excitement for our fans to enjoy.”
Busch, Biffle and Vickers will conclude the Goodyear test Wednesday,
where they are scheduled to test the spoiler package once again. NASCAR
will conduct another test with the spoiler March 23-24 at Charlotte
Motor Speedway – another 1.5-mile oval and sister track to TMS – that
will be open to all Sprint Cup teams.
owner) Jack (Roush) is all about competition,” Biffle said. “One thing
for us is that it could possibly be a disruption to Hendrick’s
dominance. They may not miss a beat, but when there is a change in the
rules you’re going to have to find out what works. There may be a
little bit in there where we can narrow that gap.”
think we’re stirring up the pot (with the change), but it’s in a
positive direction,” Busch said. “A lot of times NASCAR throws changes
our way and the drivers and owners grumble about it. With the spoiler,
it seems like a positive reaction has been made already and just
driving in it today, I don’t see any problem with it at all.
hope it creates the aesthetic view that the fans want to see with the
spoiler back on the deck lid of these cars. The wings were a change for
more of the four-cylinder cars that you see driving around on the
streets; they weren’t our hardcore fans that drive V-8s.”
NASCAR is pleased with the progress and performance of the spoiler, the
new package could be implemented for the Samsung Mobile 500 scheduled
for April 15-18 at Texas Motor Speedway.
you do that math, that’s a very good guesstimate on what’s going to
happen, because if we test Charlotte at the end of March, the next
mile-and-a-half is here at Texas in April,” Busch said.
think six to eight races into the season they can implement the spoiler
easily,” Biffle said. “The only thing they have left to do is
restrictor plates. For all theintermediate tracks(likeTexas), this car will respond fine to this spoiler or if they adjust it some.”
Tuesday’s test session, Stewart, Busch, Biffle and Vickers graciously
volunteered their time to participate in the “Gear Up For The Green
Flag” fan event in the Grand Ballroom of The Speedway Club. A full
house of more than 500 season ticket holders and special guests were on
hand for a dinner, giveaways and a question-and-answer session with the
drivers to officially kick off the upcoming racing season.
was truly a special treat for our fans and the thanks goes to Tony,
Kurt, Greg and Brian for making the time to be part of this event,”
Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “We had a ton of
laughs and shared some entertaining stories to make for a great