NASCAR »

NASCAR tweaks specs at spoiler test

NASCAR teams test at Talladega with the new spoiler to be used in the Sprint Cup
The look was decidedly different — sleeker and yet more traditional — as cars took to the track at Talladega Superspeedway on a chilly, overcast Tuesday morning.

All told, 24 Sprint Cup teams tested the new spoiler-equipped version of NASCAR's Cup car on Tuesday, following the sanctioning body's recent decision to return from the non-traditional wing to the spoiler in time for the March 28 Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville.

Though there was little or no dissenting opinion as to the appearance of the car, drivers say there's still much to learn about the performance of the spoiler, even after cars drafted together at the 2.66-mile restrictor-plate track during the afternoon session.

A number of questions will remain unanswered until a scheduled full-field test March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"The balance is really what we're interested in — how much the balance is going to change versus just overall grip," four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon said during Tuesday's lunch break. "If it plants the back of the car too much, we're just out of tools to make the front of the car work in the turns. But we're kind of hoping that it actually helps the front of the car turn a little bit, too.

"So I'm very anxious to get to Charlotte. This test is really what's going to happen in the draft. … When we get to Charlotte I think is when we're going to find out what a spoiler really does in comparison to a wing."

From NASCAR's standpoint, Tuesday's action on the track also was designed to help establish a variety of performance specifications for the Aaron's 499, which will be run April 25 at Talladega. Cars opened the test session with restrictor plates whose holes measured 66/64ths inches, 7/64 inches wider than the holes in the plates used for last October's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega.

By the end of the test session, NASCAR had narrowed the openings to 62/64 inches to reduce speeds the cars were running in the draft. Because closing rates appeared to increase dramatically over the winged cars, NASCAR also instructed teams to cut the top portion of the spoiler on either side, where the width was greatest.

"A lot of the spoiler trimming we did this afternoon was to give the teams back the ability to stay with their competitors and have the confidence that as they race, they could not only stay with the draft but have enough closure speed and horsepower to successfully pass each other," NASCAR managing director of competition John Darby said. "I think we've got a very good starting point to go home with, maybe fine-tune on a little bit and come back here and have a great Talladega race in April."

Though Gordon thought teams had gotten a firm handle on the winged car since its introduction to the Cup series in 2007, he was optimistic about the prospects for the spoiler version.

"I feel like really over the last year, we've really gotten this car dialed in good," he said. "I think we've learned a lot about how to make it work well and race well. So, you know, this is a change. I'm hoping and thinking that it's going to be a change for the better. But I'm very supportive of it, open to it."

Darby said that the final restrictor-plate size and package that will be used at Talladega would be sent to the teams "probably within a week to ten days."


Tagged as: Sprint , Gordon , Talladega , Spoiler

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jeff Gordon [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies fifth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualifies fourth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
 
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
 
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualifies fourth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
 
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies fifth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, right, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, walks through the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/NASCARA via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, climbs from his car after being involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A large incident occurs in turn three during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love`s Travel Stops Ford, poses with Ms. Coors Light, Rachel Rupert, after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS, qualified fifth Friday, July 4, 2014 for Saturday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Johnson is 2nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Bobby Labonte, driver of the #33 Thunder Coal Chevrolet SS, qualified fourth Friday, July 4, 2014 for Saturday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.