February 16, 2007Daytona Beach, Fl. - NASCAR has made several significant changes to how it determines it season champion this year.
The change that may decide who wins this year's Nextel Cup is the car of tomorrow.
After seven years of design and testing, the new car will makes it debut next month at Bristol.
The shape of stock car racing has changed over the years. This season marks perhaps the most dramatic change in design with the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow.
J.J. Yeley said "There are a lot of drivers that are not real happy with the Car of Tomorrow or the car of today."
Jimmie Johnson "We have a lot of work to do on the car of tomorrow there is no doubt about it."
Tony Stewart said "It is like being the joker. It is a big question mark. No one knows what to think until it happens.
The Car of Tomorrow happens next month in Bristol.
The first of 16 races where the car will race on the Nextel Cup circuit this season.
NASCAR's goal was to create a car that was safer by moving the driver's seat towards the center of the car.
And will save teams money with adjustable front bumpers and rear spoilers.
That eliminates the need for teams to build different cars for different type of race tracks.
Kasey Kahne said IIt is going to make the racing different for a while. The short tracks will be similar. But once we get on the tracks where there is some speed, there is going to be some guys struggling and a lot of people probably going fast."
The car of tomorrow not only debuts in NASCAR in 2007.
It may also determine the Nextel Cup champion this season.
Jeff Gordon said "When you look at how many races there are in the chase with this car of tomorrow it can really decide this championship by the teams that adapt to this car quickly."
The car of tomorrow will run in five of the ten chase races including its restrictor plate debut this fall at Talladega.
The car of tomorrow runs for the first time at Daytona in next year's 500.The Car of Tomorrow will be used in all Nextel Cup races starting in 2009 but NASCAR says that schedule could be pushed up depending on its performance this year.