New cars are 150 pounds lighter. / Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR
NASCAR has a decidedly different look for 2013; new race cars will roll out at the Daytona 500 next Sunday.
Since 2007, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series -- its most elite racing tier -- has featured cars from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota with the same basic shape and little to distinguish them other than decals to imitate headlights, grilles and taillights. Fans complained they couldn’t tell the cars apart.
So NASCAR and the automakers worked together closely to redesign the cars to look more like versions seen in millions of garages nationwide.
Each Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry on the track has unique front and rear styling. The Fusion race car sports a horizontally slotted grille like the road car. The Camry features the same flow of the taillights into the bumper.
The sleeker, lighter cars (150 lbs. less) will encourage a new style of racing, too. “We should see a bit of a change ... where guys can hustle and be more aggressive than in the old car,” says Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition.
Fans can judge for themselves at next week’s race.