......was basically the same whether it was a Camry or a Ford or a Dodge, although with different front end decals and of course, the ubiquitous sponsor signage. What started as a "stock" car many years ago, like this '65 Galaxie........
........had evolved into a spec like series with all the cars exactly the same, so that no one manufacturer would have an aero advantage (once they figured out that there was such a thing as "aero"). Not unlike what had happened in the NHRA with funny cars and pro stocks or many other series.
Times change. NASCAR was losing its audience, whether it was bums in the seats at the tracks or on the couches watching TV. Something had to change. NASCAR might be a lot of things, but this officiating body was usually not dumb (well, we all have our moments). Sure the NASCAR fan followed their driver, but many also followed their favorite car manufacturer. A friend of mine doesn't get this, but I've always preferred someone driving a Chev or what was supposed to be a Chev on the track. Go figure. So what to do?
One obvious change was to make the cars more representative of what the fans could drive or saw on the street - at least in the look. Hand it to NASCAR and the manufacturers, as they have stepped up and have done a very good job of individualizing the cars hitting the track this weekend at Daytona.
Presenting the players in their new clothes.......
|Ford Fusion with its street brother|
|Impala SS showing taillights and exhaust|
|Camry's new look|
So now to Daytona and February 24th's big race. It starts this weekend with Sunday qualifying (don't ask, as this is such a confusing deal for this race only) and Saturday night's "The Sprint Unlimited". Sure, it's a made up race for pride and money, but kinda fun nonetheless. After Daytona, on to Phoenix and the weekly grind that ends in south Florida in November. When a driver wins this championship, you know he (assuming Danica is not a factor) has earned it.
Pull up a chair, a tasty beverage, some snacks and enjoy!
Until next time.........