NASCAR listened to manufacturers seeking more brand identity when redesigning Sprint Cup cars for 2013.
The new cars feature bodies that more closely resemble those of their production-line siblings, from the front end to the roofline to the rear bumper.
But when those same cars begin racing, manufacturers may seek to have their voices heard once again, this time for a very different reason, Nascar.com reports. More brand-specific parts mean more brand-specific templates, which opens the door to more brand-specific success. This is why old wars between manufacturers are bound to return.
“If Chevy wins a bunch of races early, they’re going to say, ‘Oh, Chevy’s got an advantage. And it’s going to start that whole mess back up again,” five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said. There’s a real possibility that these new-look cars could revive old-school politicking by manufacturers, something not seen since before the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow and its common body and template in 2007.
From now on, Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet will be almost completely different from nose to tail, and any differences in performance might lead to lobbying in the garage.
According to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president for competition, only one element of the new cars is the same across all three manufacturers – the rear deck lid.