Tuesday, February 26, 2013
'Gen 6' cars to be evaluated
By David Newton
CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR plans to meet with Sprint Cup teams to discuss whether tweaks are needed to the new "Gen 6" car before the next restrictor plate race.
"We'll do one-on-ones on that and see what they think," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, on Tuesday. "A lot of people have opinions. The racing was as old school as it gets. If there's some things we're encouraged to look at, we will.
"Once you get a race under your belt, even as a competitor, you would work on things once you got a race of that length under your belt."
Pemberton said the main issue appeared to be the lack of movement on the inside lane. Many fans complained the race was boring due to the lack of passing.
"Some of the stuff we were told is they could run 10 to 20 laps on the bottom, and then it went away on them," Pemberton said. "It was in short spurts. We know that's something they need."
For about 75 percent of the race, the cars ran in single file on the top lane. Many drivers were frustrated about the inability to move forward when they moved to the bottom line, and that fellow competitors weren't willing to go to the bottom line with them.
Winner Jimmie Johnson made the bottom line work well enough late to get to the front, but reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski said there were only a handful of cars that could do that.
"You had an exceptionally strong car to make a run on the bottom," Keselowski said. "There were only a handful of guys that had that, and most of them got wrecked out on that first incident."
Keselowski was referring to Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne who were involved in an early multi-car crash. Harvick was vying to become the first driver to win the Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel and 500 during Speedweeks.
Stewart and Kahne had two of the fastest cars all week.
Pemberton said it's too early to determine whether a test will be added before the next plate race, May 5 at Talladega Superspeedway. He noted that despite their similarity in length -- 2.5 miles for Daytona, 2.66 for Talladega -- they are "so different racetracks."
Daytona is considered much more of a handling track.
"We just need to look at everything," Pemberton said. "There's a number of people that wanted to do away with tandem drafting and we were able to do that. What we have to do is to make sure the cars can run multiple grooves throughout the race. We'll have to work on that part of it."