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
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Cheez-It Ford, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Cheez-It Ford, pits during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna/McDonald`s Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. CPT Travis L. Patriquin, US Army, is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael S. Duskin is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 LiftMaster Chevrolet, stands in the garage area with crew members during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Cheerios Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Dillon is 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser PrecisionChevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Truex, Jr. is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualifies for ninth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Larson is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.CPL Steven R. Koch, US Army, is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Landon Cassill, driver of the #40 Snap Fitness Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, sits in his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson’s car features Army 1st Lt. Robert L. Henderson II as part of the 600 Miles of Rememberance.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/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 - 2015 Crash Media Group

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