Brand new car, brand new look.
NASCAR is getting set to unveil the Gen-6 car this season, and it is ready to shake up the Sprint Cup Series.
From a brand new look, to helping keep cars closer together on the 1.5 mile tracks, NASCAR's Gen-6 car will be bringing a lot to the sport of stock car racing.
Drivers have been testing the new car for several months now, and some of the top drivers in the sport are extremely satisfied with the new car.
"As a driver, I like it better," Jeff Gordon said to ESPN.com. "I think it's better racing. And you're going to have to drive the cars, be careful putting yourself in certain positions. Cars are going to have to handle a little better than they have in the past. Those are all very positive things."
The Gen-6 car will bring several changes to NASCAR, changes that will shake up the Sprint Cup race.
Brand New Look
The biggest change that the Gen-6 car is bringing is brand individuality.
There are three models of Gen-6 car, and all three will have a distinctive look. The Chevy models are based off of the Chevrolet SS, the Ford models off of the Ford Fusion, and the Toyota used the Camry for their model of stock car.
The Car of Tomorrow, which NASCAR was using last season, took away the idea of brand individuality. No matter what the make, each model of car was extremely similar.
The Gen-6 is bringing brand individuality to the Sprint Cup race. At the same time though, no one model will have an advantage over the others, keeping the power of NASCAR's stock cars under the hood.
Starting From Scratch
With a brand new body being a main part of the new Gen-6 car, racing teams are placed on an even playing field when it comes to body construction.
Teams literally have to start from scratch, as car parts are limited. This helps take away any advantage bigger organizations may have held with the car from last season.
Also, each team can only test the Gen-6 car for four sessions, regardless of if a team only funds one car or four.
This allows the smaller teams to test the latest parts for bigger teams in exchange for technology upgrades and data.
Each NASCAR team has to start from scratch because of the new Gen-6 model. This will hopefully help in evening the playing field at the start of the 2013 season. Instead of seeing certain teams dominate like last year, hopefully with the new technology more organizations will be in the mix this year.
The Gen-6 is evening the playing field and will give the smaller NASCAR teams a chance to make a name for themselves.
Cutting The Cookie Cutters
The Gen-6 car will shake up the 2013 Sprint Cup race by cutting away at the typical cookie cutter tracks, and by trying to stop the tandem race drafting at tracks like Daytona and Talladega.
And it may have worked.
During the first practice at Daytona, a multi—car crash occurred in less than an hour. Dale Jr. bumped Marcos Ambrose into the wall as the two drivers were trying to draft.
Could this be an indication of what might happen if drivers try the tandem racing with the new Gen-6 car? Drafting at Daytona seems risky now, especially with this recent crash at practice.
Another goal NASCAR is hoping to achieve with the new Gen-6 car is taking away the aero dependency the previous car models had.
Aero dependency played a huge role last season on the cookie cutter 1.5 mile tracks. When a driver would get out in front in clean air, they would easily separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
NASCAR is hoping to give drivers more of a mechanical grip and less of a reliability on aero dependency with the Gen-6 car and the new tires that will come with it.
This will hopefully bring excitement to the 1.5 mile tracks, and make it so NASCAR doesn't have to rely on cautions to bring drivers back together.
The new Gen-6 car will shake up the 2013 Sprint Cup race. With better handling, a new body which promotes brand individuality, and the possibility of bringing excitement to the cookie cutter tracks, 2013 is shaping up to be a big year for NASCAR.