The new NASCAR Nationwide Series car is set to take on quite possibly its toughest test to date when the green-flag drops on the Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 6.
Closer competition, cost containment, safety enhancements and creating a specific identity for the NASCAR Nationwide Series are the goals for the new car. The “muscle car” designs of the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, along with the fresh, sporty looks to the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Camry – the standard models for those manufacturers – have created a buzz with fans and drivers. Each of the new car models fit into the look of passenger cars that are on the road today.
“I am very excited to see the new Nationwide Series car take to the track at Darlington in the Royal Purple 200,” said Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. “The impressive look of the new car as well as the close racing it has produced this season will make for a great Friday night race at Darlington.”
“The ‘cool factor’ that is a major element of the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car was created because the manufacturers – Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Toyota – worked diligently to create their own identity with their makes,” said NASCAR Nationwide Series Director, Joe Balash.
“We’re very happy with the rollout, but we still have a lot of work to do. This is an ongoing process, and we continue to race the new car on tracks for the first time, like Darlington. By the time we get to Darlington, we will have only raced the new car 14 times. But one thing we’ve seen in that short period of time, is close, competitive racing,” Balash continued.
· Wheelbase - The new chassis increases the wheelbase from 105 inches to 110 inches. This accommodates the larger center section of the chassis.
· Cockpit - Wider: The driver is moved closer to the center of the vehicle, allowing a larger safety distance from the outer skin of the car. Taller: The driver has more headroom, larger side windows for egress and a taller front window for vision.
· Spoiler - Fixed 70-degree spoiler controls rear downforce. Spoiler extensions may be used to adjust aerodynamic balance.
· Steel Plating and Energy Absorbing Foam - Protects the driver from side impact and intrusion into the driver’s compartment.