CONCORD, NC (WBTV)- NASCAR was back on track at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday to gather valuable data for the development of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series intermediate-track package for 2014. Thirty race teams were onsite in Concord to confirm several changes to the Gen-6 car in an effort to improve racing at intermediate tracks in 2014.
“We accomplished our goal today,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. “We wanted to take the results from October and get more data and feedback that will ultimately allow us to arrive at a final setup for our intermediate tracks. With more cars and teams here today, we were able to learn a great deal that will benefit the racing next year and beyond.”
The test included several physical changes to the car such as ride heights, splitters, skirts and spoilers that were established during the October test. NASCAR, the manufacturers and the teams worked cohesively to identify and implement each of the potential changes. The overall goal for the new package is to help promote more side-by-side racing and passing throughout each race.
“We saw progress today in terms of passing with each of the new configurations,” Stefanyshyn said. “We want to arrive at more green-flag passing at intermediate tracks next season with our new setup. From the results in October and today’s test we are very excited at the prospects.”
Stefanyshyn and team were able to test various setups on the Gen-6 car, each supported by data-driven research with specific effects. The 2014 changes will build on a very successful rollout of the Gen-6 race car in 2013. The new car had notable gains in passing throughout the year, shattering 19 track qualifying records and guiding 17 different drivers to victory.
“They’re testing different things,” NASCAR legend Buddy Baker told WBTV. “A spacer that reduces horsepower to see if that improves the car being able to run side by side instead of being right on the edge of losing control.”
Sixteen teams and 30 drivers were onsite at the track for the final NASCAR test of 2013. More than 140 race-replicating laps were run throughout providing key data to finalize the decision on changes to the Gen-6 car.
Fans watched drivers take to the track in the sixth-generation car test at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the enclosed Clubhouse seating of The Speedway Club.
NASCAR ran five different mock races, as well as several tuning sessions with cars completing single-car runs. The test session was intended to finalize rules packages for the 2014 season.
“It is different when you have 30 cars, or 25 cars, versus the six (from October),” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR VP of Competition and Racing Development. “It was important that we come back with a field of cars like we did. It gave us a little bit of a different view of some of the answers and has put us in some different directions that we will continue to work on.”
The stars of NASCAR return to Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 greatest days in racing, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Fans can catch all the action, including reserved seats with the best views of pit road and the world’s largest HDTV with weekend packages starting at just $99.
After testing concluded, fans were invited to enjoy Speedway Christmas, the region’s largest holiday light show, which runs through Dec. 30. The 3.1-mile course allows families to experience more than 3 million lights and 800 holiday displays. The show is open from 6 to 10 p.m. and admission is only $15 per car on Monday through Wednesday when the infield Christmas Village is closed, and $20 per car Thursday through Sunday when the Christmas Village is open.
NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway contributed to this story.