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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams Compete In Mock Races At Charlotte Motor Speedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams Compete In Mock Races At Charlotte Motor Speedway

by December 11, 2013 0 comments

CONCORD, N.C. :: In efforts to improve the Generation-6 car, 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams took to the banks of Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in mock races in preparation for the 2014 season.

There were plenty of new faces in different places as the cars rolled out of their haulers. Kevin Harvick and his Stewart Haas Racing team were by far the strongest in the test. However, Ryan Newman who replaces Jeff Burton in the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Kyle Larson who replaces Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Chevrolet were strong as well.

NASCAR tested four configurations (A, B, C and appropriate D) throughout the day. During each configuration, teams had a single car tuning session before lining up double file and racing for 40 laps at a time.

“Well, as everybody knows, it’s very seldom that you ever run by yourself unless you get a healthy lead,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development, Robin Pembeton said. “With aerodynamics playing such a key role, it’s important that we run as many cars as we can. Different tracks give us a little bit different feel as far as aerodynamics, different grooves.”

Elements between the four configurations included: a splitter with square leading edges; skirts at 4 in. minimum ground clearance on both RH and LH sides, rear fascia trimmed 1.375 in. higher in the current scallop region, a 9 in. high rear spoiler with a 1 in. high by 14 in. wide end tabs, 1.5 in. high by 37.5 in. wide roof strip, an 8.375 in. high rear spoiler with 1 in. high by 14 in. wide end tabs, 43 in. wide by 13 in. long radiator pan, and finally, an intake manifold to throttle body plate which yielded the engine power to 750 hp.

The test certainly had its moments. There were several instances where the field stacked up, cars got aero loose and even a few made contact with the wall. Drivers were wheeling the cars and really racing instead of just single car runs that usually make up most test sessions. It appeared the leaders were able to separate, but towards the middle and end of the pack, there was some really strong side-by-side racing.

“Really what we’re attempting to do here is to get closer competition and more passing, closer competition, the cars running closer in the pack, passing more with an eye for the fans,” NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, Gene Stefanyshyn said. “That’s basically what we’re doing.

“We’re using various metrics to look at that, like the first-to-fifth time differentials, the time differentials between the 10 fastest laps, those types of things.  Those are the types of metrics.  There’s many more, but that’s just an example.”

If today’s test was a success, possibly look for NASCAR to host similar events, because teams can have all the technology to simulate race conditions, but there’s no better data than actually having a nearly full field on the track racing. NASCAR mentioned that they may sign off on the rules as early as next week.

“We have subjective data,” Stefansyshyn said. “We view it with our eye on the Jumbotron. We capture that video. We have objective data, hard data, which we measure.  We put that in.  Then we have the views of the people who have the car in their hand. We have to take all that, triangulate it, try to find the alliance and what makes sense.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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