NASCAR

New car levels playing field in Cup

Credit: Martinsville Speedway
Toyota (pictured), Chevrolet and Ford all bring new models to the track.
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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup models have all been unveiled and are headed for more tests soon.

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Chevrolet has officially unveiled its 2013 Sprint Cup model.

Any time NASCAR makes a major change, we question it. The best example I can give you is electronic fuel injection. I was very concerned with electronic fuel injection, and we went through some growing pains with it in the early going.

Just ask Brad Keselowski. He had several issues that were not fuel injection but were parts and pieces related to fuel injection.

But you know what, in the second part of the year, he never even brought it up. Which was a good thing. That means it was a non-story.

I’m sure we’ll go through some growing pains. There are going to be some teams that are going back to the drawing board with a blank sheet of paper. But the brilliant move that NASCAR has made is opening up the testing for teams next year. It scheduled the two additional tests at Charlotte here in mid-December and then is letting the teams go back there in mid-January. The more track time, the more data acquisition they get, the more time they have to work with it.

By the time the season gets started, they're going to be pretty close.

CELEBRATION TIME

NASCAR's top Sprint Cup drivers lit up Las Vegas.

But there’s no question, it's not much different than when the then-named Car of Tomorrow came out in 2007, which that was a totally new package. That was not only a new body, that was a new chassis and a new everything. That was absolutely going back to the drawing board and back to the very beginning.

Even though there are a lot of other rules changes going on with the new body, trying to get mechanical grip back in the cars and trying to get them where they’re not so aero-dependent, I think you’ll see teams make big leaps and bounds.

We may even see one or two organizations, just like Hendrick Motorsports in 2007, that really rise to the top quickly with the new body.

But the big thing is these cars look cool, they look like race cars. That is something that the fans are excited about and that they are going to truly embrace.

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