Nationwide COT Leaves Me Cautiously Optimistic

Matt Mercer@@mattmercerCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2008

For years now, the Nationwide Series (dating back to the Busch days) has been in need of a new identity. The new car looks to possibly, finally accomplish that goal.

Their new car unfortunately incorporates many aspects of the Cup COT, but with a few key differences. The splitter looks different and it maintains the rear spoiler instead of a wing. Those subtle differences will play a big difference in the handling of the cars.

The Dodge car actually looked sweet; shame it won't be around to see the track. Other models considered are the Chevy Malibu, Ford Taurus (huh, didn't they just get replaced?) and Toyota Camry (though obviously different from the Cup Camry).

Most importantly, I think, is that the Sprint Cup guys got to deal with the headaches of the new car, running two different cars at the same time,. It should be expected to be a smoother process the second time around. A transition to the new car should start in 2010 without the unnecessary step of running different cars every week of the season.

My problems still persist though: First, I want NASCAR to step up to the plate and aid the teams financially with the switch to these cars, especially the smaller teams. That would earn a lot of respect on my part.

Secondly, the schedule needs to include more stand-alone events away from Sprint Cup in order to really be a second/developmental series. I could see a reduction in Truck Series races and, if that happens, this series should take over some of those surrendered truck races.