Car of Tomorrow slated for road-course debut
NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow will make its road-course debut during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, June 22-24.
Hendrick Motorsports has dominated the Car of Tomorrow races so far this season, claiming five victories in six events. Jeff Gordon has claimed two of the Car of Tomorrow wins and is the current NEXTEL Cup Series points leader by 242 points over Matt Kenseth.
"We'll have the new car in Sonoma (Car of Tomorrow) and it will suit my style," said Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet), a five-time Infineon Raceway winner and the defending champion. "I feel I'm more of a finesse driver than I am an attacker and this track really suits my style already and this new COT suits it that much more."
The Car of Tomorrow, which will compete full-time in 2008, will be used at both road-course races in Sonoma and Watkins Glen N.Y., this year. The Infineon Raceway event will mark the first time the car will compete on the twists and turns of a road-course circuit.
"It's definitely a difference, but I don't think that it's going to affect the quality of the show," said Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 AT&T Chevrolet. "I think from what I saw at [the test at] Virginia International Raceway, a lot of people can run them at the same speeds. I think it bodes well for the race."
The Car of Tomorrow, which debuted earlier this year at Bristol Motor Speedway, is the culmination of a seven-year project undertaken at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. The new car was built primarily with safety in mind, but during the development process, NASCAR also discovered ways in which the car could improve competition and enable teams to be more cost-efficient.