New Spoilers Will Take Martinsville Action Higher
On a weekend dedicated to old-school racing, NASCAR is doing its part to help with the theme.
NASCAR officials have indicated that the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28 will be the first race the old rear spoiler will reappear on Sprint Cup cars, replacing the controversial wing that came with the Car Of Tomorrow three years ago.
Between official NASCAR test sessions and countless team test sessions, everyone has come to the same conclusion: the racing should be racier with the move back to the spoiler.
“What it will do to the race cars is create a looser driving race car,” said Kurt Busch, who won the 2002 Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. “The rear end won’t stick as good to the race track and maybe it will provide for better racing when cars get into traffic.”
Clint Bowyer was a little more direct in his assessment of the new-old spoiler.
“I think everybody is looking forward (to the spoiler) and everybody is working hard toward it. I don’t think anybody knows exactly what it’s going to do, though,” said Bowyer, who finished fifth in the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 last spring, the best Martinsville finish of his career. “But I think you are going to see some of the things we used to see happen to bring out cautions and bunch us up and ultimately race side-by-side happen again. And I think with the double-file restarts, it’s just going to bring that much more racing back.”
Brian Vickers gave the new spoiler a big “thumbs up” after a recent test session in his Red Bull Toyota.
“I thought it was good,” Vickers said of the new, smaller spoiler. “I thought it added a little bit of front downforce which is a good thing. I think it’s going to be more accepted by the fans. It looks cooler … a little more retro back to the older car.”
The retro move happens to coincide with a gathering of some of the sports’ most storied drivers for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 weekend. Former Martinsville win Buddy Baker will be the Grand Marshal of the race. He will be joined by Harry Gant, Richard Petty, Bobby and Donnie Allison, Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for the Goody’s FAN-Tastic Forum: Story-telling by NASCAR’s Greats at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the exhibit area. It is a free event for fans.