NASCAR

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NASCAR national series wins leaders Top 10 photo gallery list of NASCAR national series all time wins leaders /nascar/lists/NASCAR_national_series_wins_leaders http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/03/060313-nascar-Kyle-Busch-TV-Pi_20130603090801770_136_102.JPG
NASCAR's band of brothers NASCAR's band of brothers top racing family photo list /nascar/lists/Brothers-in-NASCAR http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/12/21/brotherlylove-pi_20101221112004663_136_102.JPG
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NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549772 Innovation of a race car Innovation+of+a+race+car NASCAR

NASCAR has come a long way since the days of racing on the beaches of Daytona. 

Primarily, fans have seen changes as the race cars themselves evolved over the years. This year, anticipation surrounds the debut of the Generation 6 Sprint Cup entry.

But just how did the sport get from the days of the famed Hudson Hornet to these sleek new rides?

Just take a look:

(Photos and information courtesy NASCAR)

WATCH DAYTONA 500: FEB. 24 on FOX

COMPLETE GEN-6 COVERAGE

NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G4_20130124205833876_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G4_20130124205833876_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31556845 Generation 6: 2013 Generation+6%3A+2013+ NASCAR

The Generation 6 car marks the return of the showroom look, as seen with this 2013 Ford Fusion. Manufacturer-unique body panels are placed on the existing chassis. Enhanced body designs are built to more closely resemble the cars found in showrooms across the US and the design aims to put the stock back into stock-car racing.

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Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Race-Car-Innovation-DG-GI_20130128155518333_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Race-Car-Innovation-DG-GI_20130128155518333_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549783 2008 Chevrolet Impala SS 2008+Chevrolet+Impala+SS NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson’s championship car featured a front splitter, rear wing and a whole lot of dominance.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G20_20130124210527903_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G20_20130124210527903_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549786 2010 Toyota Camry 2010+Toyota+Camry NASCAR

Competitors and fans missed the look of the spoiler, so it returned at Martinsville on 3/27/2010.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G21_20130124210804913_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G21_20130124210804913_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549045 2012 Dodge Charger 2012+Dodge+Charger NASCAR

Brad Keselowski’s Blue Deuce featured a new front splitter that better resembled production models.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G22_20130124210804911_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G22_20130124210804911_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549043 2012 Chevrolet Impala +2012+Chevrolet+Impala NASCAR

The end of Generation 5 also marked the end of this model in NASCAR.
 

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G23_20130124210804914_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G23_20130124210804914_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31560141 Generation 5: 2007-2012 Generation+5%3A+2007-2012 NASCAR

The so-called Car of Tomorrow introduced a new era in car safety. It featured a common body and chassis for all manufacturers designed to reduce the need for track-specific race cars. It included a front splitter and rear wing to offer teams aero adjustment options.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images for NASCAR - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G4-AA_20130128125836412_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G4-AA_20130128125836412_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549776 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1995+Chevrolet+Monte+Carlo NASCAR

Chevrolet switched from the Lumina to the Monte Carlo and Jeff Gordon drove it to four championships.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G16_20130124210439894_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G16_20130124210439894_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549784 1998 Ford Taurus 1998+Ford+Taurus NASCAR

This was the first four-door stock car model approved for NASCAR competition in the modern era.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G17_20130124210517898_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G17_20130124210517898_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549782 2001 Dodge Intrepid 2001+Dodge+Intrepid NASCAR

Dodge made its return to NASCAR with this Bill Elliott-driven Intrepid owned by Ray Evernham.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G18_20130124210517899_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G18_20130124210517899_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549781 2006 Ford Fusion 2006+Ford+Fusion NASCAR

Matt Kenseth drove this Ford during the final full season of Generation 4 cars.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G19_20130124210522901_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G19_20130124210522901_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31560139 Generation 4: 1992-2006 Generation+4%3A+1992-2006 NASCAR

NASCAR altered the look of the race car significantly in this generation. It had a highly modified body, leading teams to spend hours in the wind tunnel to gain an aero edge. The bumpers, nose and tail were composed of molded fiberglass based off production counterparts.

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COMPLETE GEN-6 COVERAGE

Lowe's Motor Speedway Archives - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G3-AA_20130128125836413_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G3-AA_20130128125836413_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549777 1981 Buick Regal 1981+Buick+Regal NASCAR

This is the first 110-inch wheelbase model driven to a championship in NASCAR’s premier series.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G13_20130124210439893_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G13_20130124210439893_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549044 1987 Ford Thunderbird 1987+Ford+Thunderbird NASCAR

On April 30, 1987, Bill Elliott set the NASCAR qualifying speed record at Talladega in this car at 212.809 mph.

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COMPLETE GEN-6 COVERAGE

NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G24_20130124210804912_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G24_20130124210804912_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549778 1987 Pontiac Grand Prix 1987+Pontiac+Grand+Prix NASCAR

GM extended the rear windshield and shortened the decklid of its Aero Coupe model.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G14_20130124210439895_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G14_20130124210439895_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549775 1991 Chevrolet Lumina 1991+Chevrolet+Lumina NASCAR

The Intimidator Dale Earnhardt became a legend in this third-generation Chevrolet.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G15_20130124210439896_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G15_20130124210439896_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31560140 Generation 3: 1981-91 Generation+3%3A+1981-91 NASCAR

In 1981 came a more race-centered series of vehicles. The wheel base was reduced to 110 inches; and NASCAR downsized cars to better resemble cars on the showroom floor, though body panels were still purchased through the manufacturers.

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Sherryl Creekmore/NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G2-AA_20130128125836411_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G2-AA_20130128125836411_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549039 1967 Ford Fairlane 1967+Ford+Fairlane NASCAR

Due to unibody construction on the stock vehicle, NASCAR allowed purpose built race chassis for safety.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G9_20130124205915881_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G9_20130124205915881_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549040 1970 Dodge Daytona 1970+Dodge+Daytona NASCAR

Aerodynamics took center stage at Daytona and Talladega with the introduction of the “wing cars.”

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G10_20130124205922883_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G10_20130124205922883_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549780 1973 Dodge Charger 1973+Dodge+Charger NASCAR

King Richard Petty won his fourth Daytona 500 with Hemi power under the hood of this classic ride.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G11_20130124210439891_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G11_20130124210439891_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549779 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977+Chevrolet+Monte+Carlo NASCAR

American muscle hit the track in full force as aerodynamics became more advanced.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G12_20130124210439892_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G12_20130124210439892_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31560142 Generation 2: 1967-80 Generation+2%3A+1967-80 NASCAR

The first overall modification of the car came for the 1967 season. The car had a stock body with a modified frame and modified chassis. Holman-Moody, Banjo Matthews and Hutchenson-Pagan built chassis for the teams.

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cal Ontario2 - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G1-AA_20130128125836412_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/28/012813-Nascar-Innovation-of-race-car-G1-AA_20130128125836412_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549036 1939 Ford Coupe 1939+Ford+Coupe+ NASCAR

NASCAR’s earliest races featured pre-World War II models due to a post-World War II car shortage.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G2_20130124205832873_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G2_20130124205832873_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549033 1952 Hudson Hornet 1952+Hudson+Hornet NASCAR

Hudson was the first manufacturer to provide factory support to NASCAR racing teams.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G6_20130124205832871_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G6_20130124205832871_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549037 1956 Ford Convertible 1956+Ford+Convertible NASCAR

Despite the new four-point roll cage, convertible cars competed for the last time in 1962 at Darlington.

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- http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G7_20130124205910878_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G7_20130124205910878_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549038 1965 Ford Galaxie 1965+Ford+Galaxie NASCAR

This is the last year Ford raced with a stock chassis before the introduction of the unibody Fairlane and Torino.

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NASCAR - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G8_20130124205911879_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/24/012413-Nascar-Innovation-of-a-Race-Car-DG-G8_20130124205911879_107_80.JPG
NASCAR 167 2260 NASCAR evolution of race car to Generation 6 models 31549773 Generation 1: 1948-66 Generation+1%3A+1948-66 NASCAR

The characteristics of the car were simple. A strictly stock frame and body; doors strapped or bolted shut and seat belts required; and heavy-duty rear axles required to keep cars from flipping during the race.

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