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At the beginning of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the excitement around the new car was nearly palpable.
Lighter, racier-looking and a step up in technology, the Generation-6 car made its debut at Daytona and promptly started setting records. How many? Glad you asked.
Entering the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the new car had set track records in 19 of 31 qualifying sessions this season, at tracks from tiny Martinsville to Charlotte, Michigan, Pocono, Indianapolis and Texas. And they weren't cheap records, either. All of them were more than a mile per hour faster than the previous records.
As the final race of the season looms this weekend, there's a lot going on behind the scenes to make adjustments to the record-setting machine.
In the everlasting pursuit of that elusive "race-ability," NASCAR and its technology team are working overtime on the aerodynamics of the new car, which are much slipperier than that of the Gen-5 car, to improve the side-by-side aspects of competition.