CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With just over three weeks remaining until the debut of the Gen-6 race car, NASCAR is convinced its product will be better this season.
Much of the behind-the-scenes effort last year was spent on developing the car, which hits the track Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway for the first practice of SpeedWeeks.
The car was a collaborative effort between NASCAR, manufacturers and teams, which NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said Tuesday was "unparalleled in my 34-plus years in the sport."
The car was the centerpiece of NASCAR's stop Tuesday on the annual Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It was NASCAR chairman Brian France who demanded a new car in a desire to tighten up the racing, and he said Tuesday he's so far "quite satisfied" with what he's seen in testing the last two months. NASCAR has twice tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and was at Daytona earlier this month.
But it remains to be seen how NASCAR will determine if the Gen-6 car is truly a success. The first true test of the car won't come until the third race of the season, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first 1.5-mile track on the schedule.
The racing has struggled most at the intermediate tracks, where passing was difficult and cars spread out into single-file lines. France was asked how NASCAR will know if it has achieved what it had hoped with this new car.
"I think we'll measure (success) by lead changes, we'll measure it by how it races, we'll measure it by how the drivers feel about it, and knowing that not everybody will always love every rules package or thing that we do, that's for sure, but we'll look at it very simply," he said. "Everything is designed to have closer competition, and we'll see."
Daytona International unveils plans for upgrade
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Daytona International Speedway has unveiled new details on its proposed redevelopment of the historic 53-year-old Florida racetrack.
Speedway President Joie Chitwood showed conceptual renderings of the multi-year plan Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
The plan calls for five new modern entrances, a second pedestrian bridge for easier access to the track and an expanded grandstand area with thousands of new seats. The project, if approved, would provide upgraded concession areas, ticket gates and more common areas to view the race from different vantage points.
Chitwood says the cost of the project hasn't been determined.