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Monday, February 18, 2008

NASCAR: Car of Tomorrow Backfiring

NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow has become the Car of Today. It seems though that while NASCAR is embracing the Car by going with it full time this season. They just might be getting a negative effect that they didn't plan on.

The main purpose behind going to a car that the drivers pretty universally feel is more difficult to drive was competition. With the wide variety of tracks that NASCAR performs on, the smaller teams were starting to develop a disadvantage. Teams were getting to the point where they had three or four different style's of car. For the different style tracks. Then they would have backup cars for those styles. At 200,000 a car you can see how the price tag starts climbing and quickly. NASCAR's answer. The Car of Tomorrow. It is set up so that it can be used at every track. In theory it makes it a lot more realistic for the smaller team to compete. After this initial week-and-a-half I am not so sure it isn't backfiring.

Not only was Daytona won on team work. With winner, Ryan Newman, as well as teammate Kurt Busch acknowledging that it was definitely the two of them working together that brought about the win.

It was also lost on teamwork Tony Stewart tried to maintain his leaf when he dropped from top to bottom on the track to pick up Kyle Busch but Busch was no where to be found having already had to drop back a few spots in order to keep from being penalized for passing to far inside. With out the benefit of a teammate to work with Stewart didn't have a prayer of beating the two Penske teammates.

My overall strongest impression of the race was the effect of teamwork. While Earnhardt had been strong along with Johnson and Gordon in the early running. He was unable to amke any real headway when those two were out of the race. Stewart as well was in a position to win or assist teammate Kyle Busch in his win but they were unable to hook up in the end. While the winning tandem hadn't really been a big factor in the race, once they were able to hook up near the front they used that to win.

So how does all this tie in with the Car of Tomorrow. Once again the little guy is at a disadvantage. While a lot of the team work was a product of the fact that it was a restrictor plate race. I don't think anyone who was watchign didn't see how much more of a factor it has become with the new car. So once again the small team who is frequently a single car starts the race at a disadvantage.I can't wait to see what happens next week at Fontana.

What do you think of the Car of Tomorrow?


GoOrange said...

Interesting theory, and certainly could prove true in the upcoming weeks.

My main contention is that Stewart didn't have to go low looking for his teammate at the end. In fact, he shouldn't have gone low. Kyle was too far back, fading and had no way to help Tony.

With the short distance remaining, Tony still had a halfway decent shot of staying in front of Newman long enough to cross the finish.

Ron Dean said...

Not only are you right about him not neading to go low. I think you are even more correct that he should go high. He could have blocked newman.
Would have been interesting to see if Stewart went and blocked Newman how well the Penske Dodges would have worked together to get around him.