NASCAR »

New Car Models May Find Their Way the Cup Chase

“We know that there's change coming,” Suhy said. “We know that there's been a year talked about to do it. It sounded like there was some commonality among the four manufacturers that said there's going to be a good year to do this, and my objective and I think everyone's objective is to go and work on the canvas, how much more of the car can we get to work on.

“But I'm looking forward to it. I think it's a big challenge for us internally to satisfy our leadership, which says, 'I know it sells cars and trucks, but it still doesn't look like what we sell.' ”

The Cup cars will get new noses next year, eliminating the need for splitter braces on the front of the car. Dave Bailey, Dodge's senior manager of motorsports engineering, said the company is treating that move as an isolated step. Nevertheless, Bailey, too, expects bigger changes down the road.

“We're still waiting for the memo from NASCAR as to when that will be,” Bailey said.

Suhy sees the new nose as a step in the continued evolution of the NASCAR racecar, starting with the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow in 2007 and continuing with the Nationwide cars, which will compete in four races this season, starting July 2 at Daytona, before becoming the full-time Nationwide car next year.

“Now NASCAR has acknowledged that the Cup car needs some work, and so we're going to put a new lower on the Cup car—directionally correct again, and we're talking about more identity,” Suhy said. “I think this 2011 change in the Cup series is a good start at the continued evolution of the Cup car into something beyond where the Nationwide car went.

“As you know, we investigated doing a Camaro (in the Nationwide Series) and looked at it and said, 'We need some more freedom behind the windshield to do this, this, this and this, and that's where I think we kind of hit an impasse with NASCAR. I understand why, but that's why we're running an Impala in the Nationwide Series, because we just couldn't get from here to there to satisfy our internals and make the thing look enough like a Camaro.”



NASCAR is listening

That could change with the next major step for the Cup car. Suhy said NASCAR has been extremely receptive to manufacturers' input in the push for brand identity.

“They haven't thrown me out of the trailer yet, coming and saying, 'What do you think about if we did that?' or 'Do you think we could push here and poke there?' I think that's good,” Suhy said. “And I think one of the reasons is—if you look at the process they use—we really did it in 2006 with the new truck, where they had this idea of a common strategy, or a common template, if you will.

“Eighty percent of the truck is the same, and you put noses on them to make a Chevy or other manufacturers, and then you go measure in the wind tunnel. You have to develop some level of confidence that you can measure something in the wind tunnel and say 'OK, yeah, they're all within the box,' because they set drag and downforce targets at a couple of different attitudes. The first thing that NASCAR had to do was develop confidence in that process, so that they could actually measure it in the wind tunnel and have the manufacturers all have a decent chance of winning a race.”

Suhy thinks the same can apply in the Cup series.

“I know we can make them look more distinctive and fit in the aero box,” he said. “And I think what NASCAR's got to get more comfortable with is how they can manage this out here at the track.”



Tagged as: Ford , Toyota , Chevrolet , Sprint Cup , dodge

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Challenger Tested at Daytona
Danica Patrick alongside the #10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing on pit road at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick driving the #10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 5th position and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS finished in 12th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Kahne, who was also in the Chase, did not advance. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished in 9th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, spin out into the grass during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The crew of Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, leads the field near the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, races Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with an American flag after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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.