The hoods and decklids have been made of steel in the past. In an attempt to make the cars drive better, NASCAR is reducing the weight of the 3,400-pound Cup car by 160 pounds for next season — 100 pounds on the right side and 60 pounds on the left.
"Carbon fiber is definitely a lot lighter so it definitely is going to take the center of gravity and help move it down because of that — that definitely is a positive, for sure," driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart said.
The result will be more downforce and mechanical grip.
"It’s a consistent part so we can build stuff more in advance and the hoods and decklids just kind of interchange," Kasey Kahne crew chief Kenny Francis said. "It’s not as much a hand-built part and a much better quality-control part so we feel like it will make car-building easier."
The hoods will have a Kevlar coating to prevent splintering. But the carbon fiber decklids likely will break apart more in a crash.
"It probably is going to bust so you’ll have to stop and put another one (on), which probably isn’t a bad thing," driver Kevin Harvick said. "It will be like changing a wing on an F1 car. … In the end, I don’t think it will really matter other than it will cut down the work that you have to do with the decklid to get everything you can aero-wise from it. It’s pretty straight up." Sporting News