With 13 Sprint cup races completed, has NASCAR’S Gen 6 car made enough of an impression for fans to understand how it will perform for the rest of the season?
Being around 150 pounds lighter than the Gen 5 “Car Of Tomorrow” has helped it break seven track records so far in 2013. The body design has not only added a pleasing aesthetic brand look, but other technical changes have reduced the aerodynamic push that limited overtaking last season. An increased rear camber has given the rear tyres loads more grip, meaning the drivers have had the confidence to attempt passes.
During the NASCAR Goodyear test a month ago, Jeff Gordon tweeted he saw 214-mph in the Gen 6 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin managed a clip under 196-mph at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
So far, we know the Gen 6 is extremely fast, and it’s added some excitement to the track this season – the side-to-side action and the vastly reduced gap between cars passing the chequered flag is a real testament to this.
While the Toyotas have shown serious pace, reliability has been of concern, especially after the FedEx 400 at Dover when Matt Kenseth suffered an engine failure after his teammate Kyle Busch had suffered two previously in the season.
In fact, both Joe Gibbs Racing drivers also experienced engine failures at the Daytona 500, so Toyota really need to look at their TRD pieces if they want any sort of consistency.
Aside from Toyota, the other NASCAR engine suppliers have also experienced problems and failures, although numbers suggest an average occurrence, so the alarm bells aren’t ringing quite yet for the Gen 6 in 2013.
Overall, the Gen 6 has impressed not only in the looks department, but the fact its injected some high-octane fuel back into the veins of NASCAR again. We have to expect those lap records to tumble and to see a lot more paint on paint action for the rest of 2013.