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Some of last season's tricks are finally being revealed....but what's up the sleeve for 2010?

   Phoenix may offer the first good glimpse at the effects of NASCAR's move toward more downforce in Sprint Cup cars in 2010 (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

    By Mike Mulhern

    NASCAR teams are testing this week at Texas World Speedway, to see how that planned new rear spoiler might work on their Sprint Cup cars, according to stock car crews.
    NASCAR officials are tentatively planning to change the rear wing on the Cup cars to a more standard flat rear spoiler, beginning either with the Bristol 500 March 21 or Martinsville 500 March 28. But it will be the Cup races at Phoenix April 10th and Texas April 18th that would be the major test of the new spoiler, which is designed to add downforce to the cars and make them handle better.
   Drivers have complained that the car-of-tomorrow -- designed as a low-downforce machine, with the idea that that would bringing driver talent to the fore -- doesn't have enough downforce.
   Drivers like downforce, no matter what the venue. And the current car-of-tomorrow has significantly less downforce than the old standard Cup car.
   Fans too have expressed their displeasure with the winged car.
   There are more changes coming too, apparently, with Daytona cars possibly sporting a new 'shark fin' on the rear deck, to make them more stable when they get sideways. The 'shark fin' would be a three-inch tall fin running from the top of the rear window to the rear wing, according to crews. How that might be tested is unclear, since NASCAR has banned testing at Daytona and Talladega.
    While the long-standard flat rear spoiler on Cup and Nationwide cars has basically been just a $5 piece of steel, bolted on to the rear deck, the new flat rear spoiler will apparently be another 'over-engineered' piece by NASCAR, sold to the teams by NASCAR and installed at each track by NASCAR officials.
    So change is finally coming to the long-criticized car-of-tomorrow. But there are no changes apparently planned yet to the snowplow nose.
   And it's unclear exactly why these changes are suddenly being unveiled, rather than say late last fall when teams might have had a chance to offer some input, instead of having changes handed to them just weeks before the new season opens.
    Another change, though not one mandated by NASCAR, is striking: the lowly alternator.
   Now you, the street-car consumer, could buy an engine alternator for maybe $30 or so for your family sedan. But NASCAR race car alternators are a bit more expensive: five years ago a NASCAR alternator would run about $500. Last season Cup team alternators were being priced at $2900. This year -- the price has jumped to $6,000. Why? Because the car-of-tomorrow apparently generates so much heat under the hood that teams have been having electrical failures.
   Race car electronics is big business among NASCAR engineers these days, in more ways than one -- Want legal traction control, for flat tracks like Martinsville and Phoenix? If you do it right, you can rig your car's electrical system to where it has an electrical 'kill' system in the corners, with less voltage going to the engine, to keep the car from spinning the rear wheels coming off the corners. Want to see it in action? Check the exhaust from some cars in the corners -- with those huge streaks of flame.
   And it's all legal.
   Another trick teams are finally catching on to -- remember some of that strange black smoke coming out from under some cars last season? The smoke that TV guys thought might be tire problems?
    Well, apparently some engine men have figured out a way to trick up their exhaust headers, legally, with tiny holes, which effectively add air to the exhaust gases and turn the exhaust system into something of an engine 'turbo-pump,' sucking air through the engine system faster, creating more power.
    Of course, those were some of the top tricks for the 2009 Cup season. And now it's 2010..and it may take just about that long to figure out what  new tricks all these team engineers have come up with for this new season.

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It's pretty easy to see why

It's pretty easy to see why there's so much heat under the hood. Between the poor positioning of the openings for the radiator under the front bumper and the teams taping everything up, very little air can get into the engine compartment to cool things off. Maybe they need to consider letting the teams run an air duct to the alternator to help cool it off.

There use to be a racing auto parts show in Daytona around the time of Speed Weeks which showed off all sorts of parts, including ones which had traction control devices hidden in them. From what a buddy of mine who use to attend it told me, he never saw anyone from NASCAR there checking out these parts. No surprises there really.

so jr. couldn't win with the

so jr. couldn't win with the cot car, so they will try anything so he can.

Could you tell which teams

Could you tell which teams are using this tech? I have a good idea that the teams that are dominateing Nascar are using it, that explains why it is not illegal!!!!!!

Just wait until they go fuel injection! if they use a computer to run it, you will see more white collar cheating that Nascar will never able to find! Nascar does not need to copy fomula one! A carburetor will get about the same fuel mileage as fuel injection when runing racing speeds,fuel injection it saves gas on start and cold run mode!

Another run that I would change is "no more tape on the grille" you have to run the car with the grille open! Running tape on a grille supercedes the reason to have specs on the front!

This proposed "shark fin"

This proposed "shark fin" sounds like the shark fin the cars have sported for several years on the rear glass. They don't work to keep the cars from tumbling now; why should anyone expect them to work on the rear deck? If they want to keep the cars from flipping, they need a smaller restrictor plate so they can't break 190 - remember, with this recent wave of tumbles have been trap speeds up to 205.

They wonder why Nascar has

They wonder why Nascar has become so expensive, nobody and I mean nobody can justify a $6,000 alternator. The $500 piece from before I can understand, but after dealing with automotive parts and electronics for several years I would have to say that this new $6,000 unit is over $5,000 of pure profit for the manufacturer.

They keep working on the

They keep working on the wrong end of the car.

The winners of this

The winners of this year!(http://www.videorolls.com/watch/Kyle-Busch-Victory-Lane-and-Interviews-Autism-Speaks-400-Dover-Sprint-Cup-Race-2010-mpg) They deserved it. This was really tough.

They wonder why Nascar has

They wonder why Nascar has become so expensive, nobody and I mean nobody can justify a $6,000 alternator. The $500 piece from before I can understand, but after dealing with automotive parts and electronics for several years I would have to say that this new $6,000 unit is over $5,000 of pure profit for the manufacturer. John from pirates of Caribbean 4 trailer good luck! and Thanks

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