No people, I’m not talking about blowing my nose or the refuse out of it. I’m referring to Sam’s NASCAR of Tomorrow or S.N.O.T. It is my idea of what NASCAR should develop for the next great leap in competition. This list is a compilation of ideas I’ve gathered from fans that would work across the board in any “Stock,” based race series, be it Oval Track to Drag Racing. These ideas aren’t bizarre crazy thoughts, but unlike the title, are well thought out and should be the ideas used in the next generation of NASCAR. I will present the ideas as a numeric list starting with the most obvious and concluding with the ideas that would only make the racing more interesting. This is for the fans and I will enjoy any and all debate about this subject. I want to explore every aspect of the current racecar and compare it with the ideas to see what a new generation of cars should look like. In some sections, I may get a bit technical, but I have researched the subject and I will also use my own experience in auto racing in trying to explain my ideas. All sections will be multipart, as the issue cannot be looked at in a simple small section.
2009 Dodge Charger
1: The Body: I will present a factory body and then the current COT version for this example. Use a manufacture’s body and not a sheet metal tissue thin facsimile of the clonemobile run today. This is a no brainer in my mind and it something spoken about by many of the fans I speak with. No more debris caution flags due to the lost fender after blowing a tire and more importantly it will get the troubled manufacturers back fully involved by supplying "Body in White," along with other replacement parts. It will actually look like a car offered in the showroom. No body modifications other than a spoiler or wing at the rear and the factory must offer it to the buying public. The manufacturers will be required to produce 10,000 copies of any body allowed. That amount of units would negate any one off aerodynamic slicked up NASCAR specials like happened in 1968 through 1971 year frame. Another thing that should be put back on these cars for driver safety is side view mirrors. It would be a needed tool for safe passing and of course blocking on the faster speedways.
2009 Dodge Charger front view
A front air-damn/splitter that would be more of a safety factor for the actual race cars, but if the manufacturers actually offered it to the public, the safety and fuel mileage benefits would become obvious to the buying public. If the body chosen uses four doors then all four doors would be welded shut, but the bodylines cannot be altered to hide the back doors. The sides would be smoothed within reason, but no more hiding the fact that these are four door sedans. Welded doors would be optional for the normal field fillers as any excitement of say a door flying open at speed would be of a great marketing value to both the team and NASCAR.
Miller Lite Dodge Charger
No more taping off the grill and closing off all opening in the nose of the car to pick up speed. Allow for safety, vented air systems for such things as brakes, and auxiliary cooling systems. The headlights must actually work and be a part of the front fascia and not a poorly disguised decal. They can have a thicker piece of Plexiglas to protect them and all glass parts replaced with a Plexiglas replica, but they must be functional. Imagine night races with the cars producing some of the lights.
Budweiser Dodge Charger
One set of templates for each body style allowed to race and it had better fit. If not, the offending crew chief will be made to stand in the corner… of turn three and be the safety light for that turn. Be kinda wild to see Knaus in a plastic helmet with a revolving yellow light on it. Now that we have had a good laugh, an offending Crew Chief will be held wholly responsible for any infraction of those rules. The offending Crew Chief will automatically be fined the amount of money won on at that race. The team owner nor the crew would be penalized for the CC mistake. That rule is in my mind a bad attempt to manipulate the possible race and season championship outcome. It would make the CC more apt to follow the rules if they are personally hit in the pocketbook and not the team or team owner. Get caught the second time and the CC will serve a ten race suspension and for the third, the team owner is required to fire that CC and he is put on at least a two year suspension.
Chevrolet RO7 NASCAR Engine
2: The Powertrain: All engines will be based on a current offering regardless of type. The engine/transmission package will be based on any vehicle in the manufacturer’s lineup, and must have 10,000 examples to make sure no one-off NASCAR special is developed. The engine would be allowed very specific modifications in an attempt to build additional power and reliability and all parts and modifications must be offered to the public through the dealerships. All engines will be required to be sealed by the tech inspector and must last for all practices, qualifying and for five race events. In the case of a backup car being used, the current engine/trans package must be swapped into the backup to continue the sequence. If an engine/trans is damaged beyond simple repairs, a new package will be allowed and the race sequence would begin at the next race.
Chevrolet LS7 Corvette Engine
All engines would be Electronic Fuel Injected EFI and use an electronic accelerator. NASCAR will be responsible for fuel curves and engine timing along with the accelerator setting in an attempt to level the playing field. The software would be uploaded at the start of the first practice and all cars rechecked after the race to ensure no tampering of the program. The ideas behind these rules are many fold, but a NASCAR racecar should have the existing powertrain as offered on the showroom floor, be it a V8, V6, or 4-Cylinder. They should also be allowed the current technologies as offered, such as OHC, turbocharged, or supercharged. By mandating a current offered drivetrain package this would eliminate the clone spec engines that NASCAR seems so enamored with lately and being required to use a factory based engine would reduce the team’s engine cost dramatically.
Carl Edwards crawls out unscathed in Talladega
3: All safety and improvements will be used. NASCAR has the safest record for any automotive racing series in the world and the vast improvements of the past ten years have been enormous. Use the current safety components and ideas, including such things as moving the driver more to the center, added impact foam in the doors and roof flaps. To put the drivers into danger isn’t an option in SNOT. The Roll Cage will be used to attach the sub frames securely to the overall structure. The current frame assembly could be used instead of the unit-body system as long as the wheelbase and bodylines remain stock. No stretching the bodyline to fake out the fan as to what the car is actually portraying.
No. 6 1966 Dodge Charger as raced in 1966
NASCAR in many fan’s minds have completely lost touch with its roots and what the fans want to see. The SCCA is the only venue that is currently running showroom stock vehicles and for the premier “Stock” car series to completely abandon the concept that made it so popular over the years is in many fan’s minds insane.
What would a return to NASCAR’s original concept do for the sport? The original concept along with the now famous names would bring the fans back in throngs. It would reinvigorate a lack-luster fan base and bring back the all-important manufacturers to the series. It would also justify their participation and bring back the all-important “win on Sunday, Sell on Monday,” mantra that defined the early days. The Detroit 3 needs an invigorated populace to sell their cars to, and NASCAR needs that same populace to fill the seats and follow the series. One term NASCAR and the manufacturers seems to have lost in the past few years, “all-important,” as in the fans and buyers. They are intertwined and so is NASCAR with Detroit. To neglect one they will lose the other and sadly the NASCAR management has lost that idea.