Testing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has begun at Daytona International Speedway, and not without incident. Last week a 12-car pile up sent several drivers and teams home early. During winter testing, teams are only allowed to bring one car to test at Daytona. And since several drivers, including 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, were unable to repair their cars, some teams didn’t get as much practice time as they would have liked.
This is especially important this season, mainly because the series is running brand-new cars for 2013. NASCAR has mandated that the new cars will look more like what consumers will see in the showrooms, bringing back the old agade, “win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” So this year the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and the new Chevrolet SS will resemble the cars you see on the highway.
Other changes race fans will notice are the driver’s name across the top of the windshield, making it easier to identify their favorites. Also, NASCAR will no longer allow numbers or sponsors on the headlight stickers…they will be on the bumpers instead. Teams will also be able to put sponsor logos on the back of the roof, just behind the the number.
Defending champ Keselowski will be switching from to Fords this season, as Dodge has decided to pull out of racing. Several other changes will happen, with long-time Roush driver driver and former champ Matt Kenseth going to the Joe Gibbs racing #20, rookie and two-time Nationwide series champ Ricky Stenhouse driving the #17 and Joey Logano piloting the Penske racing #20. Knowing NASCAR, more changes and tweaks will be coming up, possibly before the season starts with the 500 on February 17th.
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