As a Nationwide Series owner and a Sprint Cup Series driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. welcomes the introduction of the sporty new Nationwide car, which will debut in July 2010 at Daytona and will appear in three subsequent oval races during next year's phase-in.

Earnhardt thinks the development of the new Nationwide car - which features a spoiler instead of a rear wing and a traditional front-spring suspension instead of the bump stops characteristic of the Cup car - may lead long-term to improvements to the Cup version.

"The (Cup) car's got a lot of potential, and I think we're actually going to learn a lot from its little stepbrother, the new Nationwide car that they're testing," Earnhardt said Wednesday night at an appearance for Shell Oil Company and Quaker State in Las Vegas. "I think they'll learn a lot from it.

"Whether they want to admit it or not, they built the Nationwide car in lieu of all the mistakes that they made in production with the COT (new Cup car). So, once we see how well this Nationwide car runs - which I think it will do really well - we may start seeing some changes to the COT.

"But, for the most part, the (new Cup) car does everything we intended it to do. You're just never satisfied as a driver, no matter how good the racecar is. We're always wanting to make the sport better, just like NASCAR and the drivers really want the best for the sport. Hopefully, we can keep doing that."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News

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