Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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May 2014 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 31 top team usually having two-dozen cars, it got expensive. Smaller teams, always counting on using older cars, also had to buy or build brand-new vehicles. A good example of car counts is the Daytona 500. As recently as the mid- 1990s, upwards of 60 cars would attempt to make the starting field of 43. (In years before that, car counts would get close to 100.) Even the first year of the COT brought over 60 cars to Daytona. But the car count has steadily dwindled and since 2011, has stayed below 50. This occurs at other tracks when car counts just make the required 43 mark. Battling Back But it's not all doom and gloom. As part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway this winter, NASCAR introduced plans for changes to tackle all the problems, as they are virtually interconnected. The Media Tour had a buzz going as NASCAR had already announced the use of "knockout" qualifying beginning this year. Instead of single car laps for timing, cars would go out in groups to run much like during a race. After so many sessions (depending on the track), the starting field would be set. This move was designed to make qualify- ing a must-see for the fans in attendance, drawing them to the track on qualifying day, which is traditionally different than race day. But there is more here than entic- ing the fans. The bonus of this new qualifying is that teams will get more "hot" laps, simulating race conditions. That will make them more competitive, thereby making a better race. And better racing always puts more folks in the seats and creates a better show for folks watching on TV. It's all connected. New procedural rules are what NASCAR announced on the last day of the Media Tour and they didn't disappoint. It added more cars to the Chase for the Sprint Cup program, made it so cars are eliminated every three races during the "playoffs" and super-simplified the way the champion will win the title. T e r m i n a t o r E F I . c o m | 2 7 0 - 7 8 1 - 9 7 4 1 NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ logo and word mark are used under license by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. and Sprint. The stylized No. 3 and the RCR checkered flag logo are registered trademarks of RCR Enterprises, LLC. Austin Dillon's name, likeness, signature and the AD stylized logo are registered trademarks of Austin Dillon. © The Dow Chemical Company. All rights reserved. Trademark of the Dow Chemical Company or an affiliated company of Dow. The same throttle body air entry design that powers every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ car! RACE BRED... STREET EASY The new Chase formula was the result of a three-year program to make the Sprint Cup Championship more "racy" and eas- ier for fans to understand and follow. It starts with 16 drivers (up from 12) making their way into the Chase. The final 10 races will be divided into four groups, three with three races and the remaining race being the final at Homestead, Fla. The first three races, called the Challenger Round, will move 12 driv- ers to the next three races known as the Contender Round. The next three races will be the Eliminator Round and have eight drivers running. The last race at Homestead will be the Championship Round, with four drivers in a winner- take-all finale. PHBMAY.indd 31 4/2/14 11:21 AM

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