NASCAR Seeks More Stock Image

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is working toward a facelift for the 2013 season in the form of new race cars. The sanctioning body has been on the receiving end of quite a bit of flack from race fans in recent years because the appearances of the cars on the racetrack each Saturday night or Sunday afternoon hasn’t reflected the appearances of their street, or production, counterparts.

“From the start, it’s been a collaborative effort with NASCAR,” Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Dodge’s SRT Brand and Motorsports, said of the work put into creation of new cars for next year. “NASCAR provided the manufacturers with basic specifications but offered encouragement to venture beyond the look of the current race car.”

With the new race cars, proportions, certain design cues and the front grill areas of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series entries are expected to be more in line with their production inspirations

Two of the four manufacturers that field cars at the Sprint Cup level have unveiled their 2013 NASCAR prototypes, with Ford kicking off the unveiling with its 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup car during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte back in January.

“We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return ‘stock car’ to NASCAR,” Ford Racing Director Jamie Allison said. “It is going to reengage them (fans) with the sport and make the sport better, because there is just something natural about seeing race cars that look like cars in their driveways.”

2013 Dodge Charger NASCAR Sprint Cup race car

2013 Dodge Charger NASCAR Sprint Cup race car

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Dodge then followed suit, unveiling its 2013 Charger race car during the race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in mid-March.

Fans of Chevrolet and Toyota, the other two manufacturers competing at NASCAR’s top level, though, still await details on those automakers’ Sprint Cup entries for 2013.

“We know that Chevrolet fans are eager to see the new race car, and we hope that the prospect of being able to own one just like it will make the wait a little more bearable,” Chevrolet Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said in a statement.”

Toyota hasn’t seemed to have a lot to say about its car for next year, but Chevrolet has dropped a hint or two here and there, although it hasn’t presented a prototype to show race fans, yet.

While Dodge and Ford are sticking to the Charger and Fusion nameplates they currently race under in NASCAR, Chevrolet is going to make a change. The bowtie brand isn’t specifying exactly what nameplate it’s going to utilize, though. But that probably doesn’t really make a difference yet as far as race fans go, because there’s nothing on the street yet to compare it do.

While Chevrolet hasn’t had a lot to say, the manufacturer has said that its 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry will be based on a new Chevrolet that is set to begin production sometime next year.

All manufacturers are reported to be participating in various track tests for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series models, but those test sessions have been as closed as the lips of Toyota officials in regards to next year’s racing offering.

With the expected tweaks resulting from repeated testing and Chevrolet and Toyota’s reluctance to show too much at this point and time, there’s still a lot left up in the air for race fans already looking ahead to 2013. But if NASCAR is serious about getting back to more of a “stock image,” the changes are expected to be big.

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