Ahh if you never had braces you were a lucky ducky. I work braces for a couple years and getting them finally removed was cause for celebration. No more painful “adjustments” which is orthadontal speak for tightening and no more food restrictions. My particular braces removal celebration included caramel popcorn. But anyway, NASCAR fans, I digress. We got our first taste of the new nose on the cup cars without the splitter braces when the cars hit Daytona International Speedway for testing last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I have to say I LOVE the look of the new nose on the cars. In my opinion, the new nose adds to the aesthetics of the car and makes it look sportier. Hopefully the lack of braces on the splitter will keep the cars from collection hot dog wrappers, grass clumps and other debris and make possible overheating less of an issue.
Many drivers were getting their first feel of the new surface on the speedway as well, as Daytona was repaved during the off season. Many drivers reported it to be quite smooth and likened it to the newer surface at Talladega. It should make for some interesting racing that is for certain. I loved that testing was streamed live on the internet because I could tune in from my side of the states. Seeing and hearing the cars on the track put a huge smile on this fan’s face. Why? Because it means soon our season with be on again in full swing.
Just from the little pieces of testing that I was able to watch it is going to be hard for me to get use to certain changes. It’s really weird seeing Kasey Kahne in the Red Bull number 4 car. I did see him race for Red Bull in person in Phoenix at end of last season, and it was weird then. Still weird. Weirder yet? Is Harvick in Budweiser red and Kurt in the number #22! It’s all going to take some getting used to that is for sure. However this nothing new to us NASCAR fans; sponsors and teams change because our sport is dynamic like that.
Other changes to look forward to or get use to this season:
- Ethanol used as fuel in the cars. Preliminary reports had the cars getting fewer miles per gallon on the ethanol so we will see how much the switch to a “greener” fuel changes strategy on the track.
- Speaking of Ethanol- because of the change to ethanol fuel, the gas can needed to be modified. Because of the modifications to the gas can, it was determined that the catch can man was no longer needed. It is a plus for pit road safety to have one less man over the wall (especially on smaller tracks with cramped pit roads). While it may be plus for safety though it probably sucks if you were a catch can man.
- Drivers now have to declare a series in which they want to run for the championship. This I don’t like. Why? Because that means my dreams of watching Kyle Busch sweep all three championships one day has died. Yes I am a Tony fan but I am SURE that Kyle could sweep all three series if he put his mind to it.
- There is the possible change in the points system that will be most likely announced soon.
- There is the change in the chase format….playfully called the Jamie Mac Chase Clause (JMCC) between Misty and I. I think its weird use the last two positions of the chase into more wild card spots given to the two non chase contenders with the most wins. I don’t know how that will change the chase…but I guess we will see.
Needless to say there are a lot of changes this season and not JUST to the drivers/teams. Here we go NASCAR fans. Let’s buckle in for a new season. And to my Tony Stewart readers all I can say is #goTONYgo!
Also NASCAR fans- be sure to head over to The Fast and The Fabulous and vote in Round 4 of the Hottest Driver contest. This round pits Stewart-Haas teammates against each other. Go vote…