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My 'future car' would eliminate need for restrictor plate

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Darrell Waltrip

Darrell Waltrip — winner of 84 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and a three-time champion — serves as lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX. He was selected for induction into the prestigious NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012. Want more from DW? Become a fan on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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When I look at these Nextel Cup cars and the way the nose and tail are swooped back, they look like something out of Star Wars. They don't look like stock cars anymore. I don't know how they got in this condition. I suppose it was one company outdoing the other, but there's a simple solution that's like the blind obvious to me. You can't fix the car we have. You've got to start with a clean sheet of paper. Here's my idea for NASCAR's "car of the future." If NASCAR wants to give the driver more protection, the first thing they've got to do is move the framerails -- the support bars that the car is built on -- back out to 64 inches like we used to run in the old Monte Carlos. Right now, I think they're at 58 inches. The drivers are basically sitting right on top of the left framerail. Move that framerail back out, build a roll cage like we used to run that would fit that particular size frame and then put a body on that frame. Quit trying to change the body and not change the chassis with it. Widen out the cars like they used to be.
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They'll still go fast, but they won't need a restrictor plate. You've got to stop putting those sloped front ends on them and laying the bumpers back about a foot. You've got to go back to the way it used to be with a flat nose. Just look at a truck. The trucks are a perfect example of what the cars need to look like. Big flat front ends. Big grilles. Big fenders. Bigger is better. Bigger is slower. Bigger takes more horsepower to push through the wind, and that's what we need. We need to get rid of these slick bullets and get back to something a little boxier with a flatter front end and a car that's a lot wider. The manufacturers can just take the cars they've got, cut them down the middle and add six inches. We used to cut them down the middle and take six inches out of them. We've actually cut them down the middle and taken a foot out of them before. I know you can add it back in. Just cut them down the middle, push everything back six inches per side and have at it. There are a lot of easy solutions. It's not that difficult, but it would be extremely expensive.

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