Last offseason the NASCAR world awaited the debut of the Generation 6 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Fans were hoping for a game changer that could make the on track racing better than what the Generation 5 Car of Tomorrow provided. Motorsports 101 debates whether the Gen-6 car lived up to expectations in its first season.
A Lot of Work Ahead – By Mark Eddinger
The first season of the Gen-6 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was one that was not fully satisfying to the fans who wanted to see better on track racing. The one thing that the new car did succeed at was giving the manufacturers true identity on the track with the look of their car matching the showroom.
Other than that though the Gen-6 car did not live up to expectations. To NASCAR's credit they know that improvements and changes need to be made but they did not throw major tweaks at the cars during the 2013 season which would have made the teams scramble all season. The testing and work that is being conducted this offseason though needs to pay off with results on the track in 2014.
The 2013 season saw 127,306 green flag passes which was the second most of any season since loop data was introduced in 2005. That number was 17,398 more than the COT's final season in 2012. That number does show that passing was up during the races which is what fans want to see but still the Gen-6 had negative stats as well.
The were only 1,033 lead changes in 2013 which was down from 1,611 in 2012. That stat shows that the Gen-6 car still has its issues with the dreaded clean air dilemma in NASCAR. When a driver gets a lead off the initial restart they seem to be able to pull away with passing at the front of the field still being very difficult. Clean air meant maybe even more with the Gen-6 car than with the COT and that is something NASCAR will need to focus on.
The Gen-6 car is very fast and that is a good thing. Slowing the car down is not the answer to create better racing and NASCAR knows that. The package for the Gen-6 car will be worked on throughout the offseason and hopefully the combination that NASCAR comes up with will provided a solution to the clean air issue which is not an easy one to fix by any means.
Season one of the Gen-6 car was not a failure and provided the building block for what will hopefully be a very competitive car for years to come once everything is worked out.
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