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NASCAR may finally be planning changes for the car-of-tomorrow.....

  Is the controversial rear wing soon to be history? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   NASCAR executives have been holding top-level meetings this week with Sprint Cup team owners, and it looks like there's been more than just talk.
   Drivers like downforce, because their cars handle better. So NASCAR's push with the car-of-tomorrow to take downforce off Sprint Cup cars has been somewhat controversial.
   Now it appears NASCAR officials may finally be moving the other way, to putting more downforce back in Cup cars, sometime this spring, by reviving the long-standard rear blade spoiler, replacing the rear wing.
   There have been questions about the rear wing on cars the past year, in the wake of some flying cars at Talladega, questions that the aerodynamics of the rear wing cars might be an issue.
   NASCAR's new Nationwide car-of-tomorrow, to be introduced later this season, does not have a rear wing but rather the conventional spoiler. That may now be the spoiler used on Cup cars this season too.
    The rear spoiler issue is just one of the items raised in the meeting. NASCAR executives have become acutely sensitive to negative reaction from some fans over the past year, and they appear to be quite eager to start addressing some of those points. The first move was to standardize starting times for Cup events for the 2010 season, with much earlier green flags.
   NASCAR officials have been criticized for inaction with the car-of-tomorrow in the face of complaints by drivers and crews about its awkward handling characteristics. Now it looks like NASCAR is ready to make some moves.
   Just when any changes might occur is unclear, but with the season ready to open in just a few weeks, it seems unlikely NASCAR would make any major changes for the Daytona 500, California 500, Las Vegas 400 or Atlanta 500. More likely would be bringing on changes at places like Bristol, Martinsville and Phoenix in late March and early April.
   And a byproduct of NASCAR's anticipated moves  could be extra track testing. NASCAR CEO Brian France barred track testing last season, as a cost-cutting measure; that ban was only for NASCAR tracks, so many teams tested elsewhere. And France conceded the testing ban had a negative effect on tour tracks by denying those promoters the PR boost that testing tends to create.

    Meanwhile driver shuffling continues as the season looms. Veteran Ken Schrader, who skipped the Cup tour in 2009, is set to return with a run in Feb. 6th Bud Shootout, driving a Red Bull Toyota, the one Scott Speed would normally run. Speed isn't qualified for the Shootout but Schrader, because he won the sprint in 1989 and 1990, is eligible. And Bill Elliott will likely run in the Shootout for Jack Roush, in David Ragan's car, likewise because Elliott is qualified for the event and Ragan is not.
    And some team shuffling is going on too. Beth Ann Morgenthau, who announced in November she planned to revive her Cup team, with a limited schedule in 2010, says she has now "formed an alliance" with Robby Gordon, with Gordon, a Toyota driver, providing cars and engineering for her team.
   Gordon himself continues his Dakar Rally charge across South America. But Gordon, who won Stage 4 of the two-week rally, had a dismal run in Thursday's Stage 6, finishing 17th after getting stuck in the sand. He fell to sixth over all, nearly two hours behind the leader.
   Gordon conceded the run was "a big setback."
   Friday's leg of 375 miles is expected to be one of the toughest runs of the tour.

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"NASCAR executives have

"NASCAR executives have become acutely sensitive to negative reaction from some fans over the past year, and they appear to be quite eager to start addressing some of those points"

Too late. Should of listened to us "complainers" years ago and they would of weathered the storm. Eyes wide open now. Loyality gone. Won't get another penny out of my pocket. People just enjoying watching them $quirm and cra$h and burn now.

Bitter---yes. Its kinda like a divorce where the wronged finally gets their revenge.

Outside of the safety factors

Outside of the safety factors of the generic car, and even those are questionable after both 'Dega races this past season,it hasn't lived up to a single bit of the hype that was cranked out when the car was forced down the teams' and fans' throats.

It hasn't made the racing more exciting, it hasn't saved the teams money, it can't be run without a restrictor plate, and after 'Dega, its' safety is being called into question because of it going airborne and the roll cage collapsing on Newman's car.

NASCAR won't admit they've made a huge mistake with this vehicle, just like they won't admit to past mistakes. NASCAR's leadership needs to step up and admit they screwed up or they need to be replaced with some leaders who are willing to listen and make changes for the betterment of the sport.

I'm with you on that one. I

I'm with you on that one. I used to never miss a race and bought every diecast going. Now I feel betrayed and actually am enjoying the slow demise of NASCAR--especially as they twist and squirm with low ratings/attendance et. all.

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