The Gen6 Cup Car… What’s YOUR Take?
The 2013 NASCAR season is very nearly upon us. There are a lot of questions going into the season and I would like to hear your take on these matters.
The Gen6 car: Lots and lots have been written about this new car. Drivers love it, it looks more like a showroom car, etc. The real facts are these: Daytona will be nothing but a test for how the car runs at a restrictor plate race. The real test will be when the cars get to Las Vegas and beyond. The majority of tracks are the 1.5 milers and that is where we’ll see just how well this car races. Secondly, Goodyear has not made tires for this car yet. Matching this car up to new tire compounds at the various tracks will be another huge factor in how the racing is. The cars are designed to be different. We haven’t heard any manufacturer complaining about aero advantages in several years. We’ll see how long that lasts with the new car.
Jeff Gordon vs. Clint Bowyer: After tangling last year and things culminating with a late season deliberate wreck at Phoenix followed by a pit-clearing brawl, can Jeff and Clint put their emotions aside and race clean this year? Personally, I hope not! While the big brawls are a bit WWE, I hope these two bring some animosity to the track. I don’t want to see wrecks that will cost someone a race or title like we saw at Phoenix, but if they get after each other here and there, I think that is good for the sport. We need some good rivalries. You can’t keep relying on Kurt Busch to stir things up.
Danica and Ricky: Brad Keselowski must be reading my mind – or the Stock Car Gazette! In a recent interview, even Special K agrees with me that the interest in how they race each other should not be while they are dating, but what happens if they break up? Not that I wish ill will on anyone’s relationship, but boy oh boy, that would be really interesting.
Johanna Long: The “other girl” in the sport moves up to the Nationwide series this year. Danica will dabble in Nationwide while she runs full time in Cup, but the focus will now be on Johanna. She has proven to be more than a novelty in the truck series and gets her shot at a stock car now. I expect her to do well and open some eyes for a Cup ride in a few years.
Brad Keselowski vs. Jimmie Johnson: Special K is out to prove that he is not a one year wonder and Jimmie Johnson is going out to nail down his 6th title. Something has to give. Johnson has not won a title in two years (gasp!) but he is still one of the top choices to win it all again. Brad has got moxie and lots of mojo right now. Who stands the better chance to repeat?
Chevy vs. Ford vs. Toyota: One of the main reasons given for the Gen6 car is that it gives some more showroom identity to the car. Back in the day, the motto was “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” My question is this, does that matter any more? In a recent show on RaceTalkRadio, it was postulated that there is not as much of an affinity towards a manufacturer as there used to be. That on the street, cars look so similar that most people would be hard pressed to identify a Ford from a Chevy or Toyota anyway. Now, most people on the street don’t watch NASCAR, especially these days. But among NASCAR fans, even casual fans, do you identify yourself as a Chevy guy or gal? Are you a die-hard Blue Oval owner? Do you still hate Toyota because of WW2, even though many are built right here in the US?
Until next week, thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts!!