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Rear Spoilers, Yellow Lines, "No Bumping Zones" May Disappear In 2010 UPDATE #3 On Jan. 21 at the NASCAR Research & Development Center, officials from NASCAR are expected to announce a series of rules revisions, some drastic, others less so. It is expected that the controversial rear wing, one of the COT's most defining characteristics, will be scrapped in favor of a more traditional blade spoiler like the NASCAR Nationwide Series cars use. Also being looked it is the front splitter, which runs parallel to the racing surface and replaced the conventional front air dam. NASCAR officials also are talking about eliminating the no-passing zones at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, as well as other as-year unspecified changes, all aimed at helping re-energize interest in the sport. NASCAR officials said Saturday at the Sprint Sound & Speed event that final decisions about the modifications have not been made, but will be announced Jan. 21. SPEEDtv

NASCAR teams are testing this week at Texas World Speedway [#12-Keselowski tested at TWS last week], 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. 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. mikemulhern.net

01/09/10 NASCAR's Managing Director Corporate Communications, Ramsey Poston, said Friday that the sanctioning body is investigating the possibility of replacing rear wings with old-style rear spoilers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, in time for the start of the 2010 Daytona 500. However, Poston told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the change has nothing to do with cars becoming airborne during high speed crashes at the circuits two superspeedways; Daytona and Talladega. "We took a car to the wind tunnel after last year's fall race at Talladega and recreated Ryan Newman's crash to as high a degree as possible," he said. "Those tests showed beyond any doubt that the rear wing had no effect on the way that race car took off. With that said, we talked to 14 different drivers at the NASCAR Technical Center Thursday, and all 14 of them were in favor of going back to rear spoilers as a way of increasing downforce and improving competition. As a result of the input we have received from those drivers, and others, I think it's safe to say that we are taking a very serious look at the possibility of reintroducing rear spoilers for the 2010 season." If NASCAR elects to move forward with the change, Poston said the sanctioning body will wind-tunnel test the package almost immediately, before scheduling an on-track test session prior to the start of SpeedWeek 2010. Poston said NASCAR has met with every track operator since the end of last season, along with drivers, owners, crewchiefs and even media partners in an effort to determine what might be done to improve competition, and that the rear wing/spoiler is only one item on the list. "If it helps us improve competition, we will move forward with it," said Poston. "There are other changes that we will announce during the annual Media Tour that I think will be welcomed by everyone; drivers, crewchiefs, team owners and especially fans."

Poston revealed that NASCAR is likely to loosen the reins on drivers next season, saying, "We're going to let the drivers drive." While declining to give specifics prior to the official announcement, it is expected that NASCAR will eliminate the controversial "no bumping zones" at superspeedways, and possibly even the rule prohibiting drivers from racing below a yellow line at the bottom of the banking at both Daytona and Talladega. Sirius Speedway

01/08/10 Elliott Sadler told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Thursday that NASCAR is investigating new ways of keeping Spring Cup Series racers from taking flight during events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Sadler was one of many drivers and team owners who attended a closed-door meeting with the sanctioning body at NASCAR's Technical Center earlier Thursday, and said there are changes being discussed.

"They've come up with some different ideas on the roof flaps and rear windows to help keep these cars on the ground," said Sadler. However, he denied published reports that a discussion was held about doing away with the car's rear wing in favor of old-style rear spoilers.

"There was nothing said about losing the wing, but NASCAR is definitely interested in doing whatever they can to make this deal safer," he said. "Brian France is going to sit across the table from every single driver and team owner to ask for their input. They read e-mails today that they've gotten from fans asking about different things, and it's pretty clear that they're listening to what people have to say. They're obviously trying to create the best possible experience for teams and fans." Sirius Speedway

01/08/10 NASCAR officials are seriously considering a plan that would replace the rear wing with a spoiler on Sprint Cup cars, spokesman Ramsey Poston said on Thursday. "We are currently meeting with drivers and owners to discuss a number of options," Poston said. "Going back to the spoiler is one of them under serious consideration. We'll make an announcement in the coming weeks." Before the governing body makes a final decision, the spoiler and how it reacts with the new heavier car will be tested in the wind tunnel and on the track. If there are signs the spoiler will improve competition then the switch is likely to occur. Poston would not say when the change might occur, but it is unlikely it will happen in time for the February opener at Daytona International Speedway. The decision to look at the spoiler came after intense meetings, including one Thursday at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., with select drivers and owners. There has been universal concern since the car was introduced in 2007 that the lack of down force has been a hindrance to good racing. The previous car used a spoiler. ESPN
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