NASCAR Is Switching To The Spoiler

Jonathan ReedContributor IJanuary 15, 2010

The rumor mill has been cranking over the last month with everything from removing restrictor plates to adding grooves to the tires. But the one thing that is drawing the eyes of many is now going to be a reality. NASCAR is going to transition from the wing to the spoiler. The following is a excerpt from The Associated Press that was given Friday to all crew chiefs.

"To help put some of the rumor mills to rest, I am sending you the following facts as they relate to changes for 2010. We will be transitioning from the usage of the current wing to an aluminum spoiler."

The spoiler will be tested March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. No race has been selected for the spoiler debut, but the March 28 event at Martinsville is the earliest the change could be implemented based on the timeline outlined by Darby in the letter sent to the crew chiefs.

Darby explained in the memo that NASCAR's goal in returning to a rear spoiler is to adjust the downforce and balance that is being produced on the current car.

Fans have complained about the Car of Tomorrow since it's debut in 2007 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Most of there complaints consist of the overall appearance of the car. But many also feel it has made racing less exciting. They feel drivers have to rely more on the engine under the hood then their talent.

About a week ago I read a very interesting article that was talking about industry marketing, logos and advertising. They talked about how all of your good strong companies usually make small subtle changes in order not to give people any fear of change.

Untill 2008 the Wal-Mart logo has remained generally the same. It was always capitalized. They changed the hyphen to a star in the 60's, then merely changed the color in the 80's and 90's. Now they have changed the entire logo. It looks nothing like were all familiar with.

NASCAR fans are some of the most loyal in the world. They loved the sport in the 70's when Petty was dominating, they loved it in the 90's when Earnhardt and Gorden were on top of the premiere series. Now in the 2000's the still have been devoted.

I think that NASCAR made too many changes to the car at once. It went from being round to more of a box. It went from a straight nose to a splitter, and perhaps most noticeable they replaced the spoiler with the wing.

When you change to much people don't care for it. When the new car came out, race teams had to throw out years of R&D. Fans didn't like it, drivers didn't like it(excluding Jimmie Johnson) and NASCAR was unwilling to listen.

With this years TV ratings loss NASCAR finally said maybe we should look into this. Last year, NASCAR Sprint Cup TV ratings declined on Fox (11 percent), TNT (9 percent) and ABC (8 percent). ESPN's ratings were up 5 percent. So over the last two weeks NASCAR met with drivers, owners and crew chiefs to see what they thought. Well here are some comments by the drivers.

Carl Edwards - "I'd much rather have no downforce," Edwards said Saturday during an appearance at the Sound & Speed charity event at the Municipal Auditorium. "I was beating up on [NASCAR vice president of competition] Robin Pemberton to make that spoiler about an inch high, just something to keep the rear end from coming off the ground.

"That'd be fine with me. If that's the direction we're going, then I'm 100 percent all for it. You can soften the tires then, you can drive the car sideways, you'd theoretically be able to handle behind someone because you aren't relying on downforce as much -- I think all those things are good."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - "The fans want to get rid of the wing, get the old spoiler back. I don't really know what that will do to the racing. I don't think it will change it a whole lot, myself.

"It could punch a little smaller hole in the air than the wing does and give us a little opportunity to get a little more grip on the front end, but it might do the opposite."

While this is the only official rule change, there are more that have been discussed around NASCAR. One is the elimination of the "No-bumping zones" at Daytona and Talladega. The other one being the removal of the yellow lines at these tracks.