NASCAR: Daytona Debuts Nationwide's Car of Tomorrow

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IJune 30, 2010

MOORESVILLE, NC - APRIL 29: Taylor Earnhardt, her mother Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO Dale Earnhardt Inc., Kelley Earnhardt, co-owner, JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of JR Motorsports and Richard Childress, owner of Childress Racing unveil the #3 Wrangler car that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive in the Nationwide race in Daytona later this year on April 29, 2010 in Mooresville, North Carolina. (Photo by Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images

The time has come.  Normal street cars will once again be seen in a NASCAR race.

Okay, not really, but close.

On Friday, the next generation of Nationwide cars will roll onto the track and they actually resemble the regular street versions of their models. The cars won’t all look the same with only stickers to tell us who is racing which brand.

Cue the happy dance.  

I am always excited about any race at Daytona, but the Nationwide race may actually be the highlight of the weekend for once.  Not only is the No. 3 making its return to the track with an Earnhardt back in the seat (its last appearance was with Jr in 2002) but with this new car, it will look as it did in the past.

If this new design catches on and fans show an interest, Nationwide may not be the only series to run the car. How cool would it be to turn on any NASCAR race and be able to tell what brands were running up front without trying to see the tiny decal on the cars? 

One more complaint about NASCAR would be cleared up if this car made an appearance in the two major series.

No longer will people not be able to relate to the alien looking cars we see on the track today. They will be able to watch their favorite driver race then go out and jump in the same car to take their kids to the park.

While the newest car of tomorrow may not be at every race the rest of the year, the popularity of four races they are run in is sure to be higher than most other Nationwide races with the older car.

The only thing that may top the running of these “real” cars is the Danica-mania that appears every time Danica Patrick steps onto a NASCAR track.