Nationwide Series getting new car?
While those in the Nationwide Series expect to open 2009 with cars based off the chassis that will be utilized fulltime in Sprint Cup starting this season, Robin Pemberton said Monday that nothing has been finalized as of yet.
Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said it will be "sometime over the next two years."
"We'll continue to work with our teams as we did with the Cup teams when we did their new car," Pemberton said.
The Cup Series began using what was then referred to as the "Car of Tomorrow" last season, part of what was to be a three-year phase-in of the new chassis so owners wouldn't see their entire fleets become obsolete at once. But the transition went so well last year that the new car is being used fulltime this year.
The biggest difference between the Cup car and the new Nationwide cars will be in the body style, as one of the goals beyond the safety benefits associated with the new chassis will be to give the Nationwide Series its own identity instead of it appearing to be "Cup Lite."
There's talk the bodies will be "sportier" in nature, but Pemberton said that doesn't necessarily mean the cars will be branded differently by the manufacturers.
-- Mark Ashenfelter
Tires can be used as teams see fit
With the announcement that NASCAR will allow teams to lease tires from Goodyear for testing at non-race venues this season, Pemberton said the teams can test in whatever fashion is the most beneficial.
If a particular team struggles on a road course, it can lease tires designed for road courses. If it struggles on intermediate tracks, it can utilize its entire allotment testing at that style of track.
"Teams will be able to concentrate on the places they feel they need the most help at," Pemberton said.
Drive for Diversity lineup announced
NASCAR CEO Brian France would love to snap his fingers and find female, Hispanic and black drivers ready to compete in one of the sport's three national series.
That, however, simply isn't going to happen. Instead, drivers will have to be nurtured over time and NASCAR continues to hope the Drive for Diversity will help drivers take the next step.
Now in its fifth season, this year's edition of the program will see four drivers competing in the NASCAR Camping World Series with four drivers in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Kristin Bumbera, Michael Cherry, Paul Harraka and Lindsey King will race in the Whelen Series, while Michael Gallegos, Jesus Hernandez, Lloyd Mack and Jonathan Smith will race in the Camping World Series, which is split into East and West editions.
Each driver will be competing with an established NASCAR team.