The NASCAR action will officially start in six days when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits Daytona International Speedway for the exhibition race called the Sprint Unlimited. In that race we will get to see the new Generation 6 car in its first race action.
The new Generation 6 car and the reduced downward force that it will have at Daytona will mean there should not be any more of the two-car tandem drafting. Conversely, the Gen-6 car will provide drivers with more downward force and better grip with the non-restrictor plate tracks, which should in theory improve the quality of the racing throughout the season.
"To be clear, the speedway cars have less downforce," Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 for Richard Childress Racing explained. "So there's a lot less downforce on the Daytona/Talladega cars — assuming they don't change the spoiler between now and then — and there is quite a bit more downforce on every other car."
Burton believes that the more grip and downward force that the drivers will be provided with the Gen-6 car will allow them to race closer and more aggressively, especially at the numerous intermediate 1.5 mile tracks that are on the schedule. If Burton is right, then the fans will be in for a great experience this season and in seasons to come.
At Daytona though, NASCAR fans will not acquire insight on what type of racing to expect for the majority of the season. This is because the cars built for Daytona and Talladega are totally different than the other cars for the intermediate, short, and road courses. The main difference besides the actual restrictor plate is the much smaller spoiler that will take downward force off the back of the cars and make for a new style of racing at Daytona.
What that will exactly look like is anyone's guess right now. We get our first answers on Saturday night.
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