Thirty NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars/drivers representing 16 race teams hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for a NASCAR test aimed at making improvements to the Gen-6 car that began competition in the series at the start of the 2013 race season. The test was originally scheduled for Monday, but rain delayed on-track activity until Wednesday.
“We accomplished our goal today,” NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development Gene Stefdanyshyn said. “We wanted to take the results from (the test in) October and get more data and feedback that will ultimately allow us to arrive at a final setup for our intermediate tracks. With more cars and teams here today, we were able to learn a great deal that will benefit the racing next year and beyond.”
The test took the form of four “mock” races, one 30 laps in length and the other three consisting of 40 laps. In the four “races,” minimum front height rules were disregarded. Items tested included varying spoiler heights, roof strips, a splitter with a square leading edge, a trimmed rear fascia and a tapered spacer that reduced horsepower.
“We saw progress today in terms of passing with each of the new configurations,” Stefanyshyn said. “We want to arrive at more green-flag passing at intermediate tracks next season with our new setup. From the results in October and today’s test, we are very excited at the prospects.”
According to Hendrick Motorsports, here are the specifics on parts tested at Charlotte on Wednesday:
•Splitters with a square leading edge;
• Skirts at four-inch minimum ground clearance on both sides of car;
• Rear fascia trimmed 1.375 inches higher in current scallop region;
• Nine-inch rear spoiler with 1-by-14-inch-wide end tabs;
• 8.375-inch rear spoiler with 1-by-14-inch end tabs;
• 1.5-inch high by 37.5-inch wide roof strip;
• 43-inch wide by 13-inch long radiator pan; and
• Intake manifold to throttle body plate which yields engine power of 750 horsepower.
According to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition, drivers didn’t like the handling while running behind another car with newly-tested setups, but that handling improved when running alone.
Finalized changes to race cars for 2014 will be announced by NASCAR at a later date.
Check out the photo gallery, below, to see scenes from the Charlotte test (photos courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR):