COT Tests At Martinsville

For the second straight week, NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow tested on a short track as preparations continue for next season’s debut of a safer, more competitive and cost-efficient stock car.

On Monday at Martinsville Speedway, Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) of the Richard Childress Racing team, along with NASCAR’s Brett Bodine, tested the new car. While early morning rain delayed the start of the test, the results were extremely positive.

“We went through our normal aero changes here today, just to back up what the wind tunnel has been telling us, and were able to get some quality laps on the track,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition. “The wing continues to give us positive results. It is going to provide the teams with a lot of advantages when it comes to competition. We’ll even get more evidence of that when we test the Car of Tomorrow next month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.”

For Harvick, it was his first time driving the Car of Tomorrow and he was encouraged with his initial test run.

“When you get in the driver’s seat, it feels like just another race car,” said Harvick. “We got a lot out of today’s test, because it helps us determine what kind of package we will need when we run the car next season. From everything I’ve heard about the wing, it should be a big help in helping the car behind you get some air on its nose. That seems to be what we’re fighting all the time; the aero push on the bigger race tracks.”

Monday marked the second straight week for RCR to test its Car of Tomorrow, as Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet) participated in the session a week ago at Bristol. Harvick says that the RCR team has made a commitment to develop its Car of Tomorrow program.

“We didn’t go to the Car of Tomorrow test at Daytona (held in January), so we came out of there saying that since we had a clean sheet of paper, we needed to work to get ahead of the game and come out of the gate strong with this car next season,” said Harvick. “Richard (Childress) has made a commitment to do that and we’ve assembled a team to take this car around and we should have a couple of more cars done by Charlotte.”

The Car of Tomorrow is the culmination of a five-year design program being conducted at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. Of primary significance are safety innovations; performance and competition; and cost efficiency for teams. The new car will begin competition in 2007 at the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will race at 16 different events next season, including both races at Martinsville Speedway. The 2008 Car of Tomorrow implementation schedule entails 26 events. Teams will run the entire 2009 schedule with the Car of Tomorrow.

The next NASCAR Car of Tomorrow test is scheduled for May 30-31 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord.

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