NASCAR grounds wing, bringing back spoiler

Taking a cue from disgruntled drivers and fans, NASCAR has decided to phase out the rear wing of the COT and switch to a rear spoiler, a staple of past race cars. But the change would not likely take effect until the Martinsville race in March.

NASCAR announced in a memo sent to Sprint Cup teams on Friday that an open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been scheduled as part of the transition.

"To help put some of the rumor mills to rest, I am sending you the following facts as they relate to changes for 2010," Sprint Cup Director John Darby said in the memo. "We will be transitioning from the usage of the current wing to an aluminum spoiler."

By returning to a spoiler, NASCAR is hoping to adjust the COT's downforce and balance, Darby said. The spoiler's size and shape will not be determined until NASCAR conducts wind-tunnel testing, he said.

An informational meeting for the teams is set for mid-March. The test at Charlotte is scheduled for for March 23-24.

No official date has been set for the spoiler's return. But based on the above schedule, the earliest the change could become effective would be the March 28 race at Martinsville, the sixth race of the 2010 season.

The wing has been part of the current car since NASCAR phased in the COT in 2007. The wing replaced the spoiler, which had been an identifying feature of the race cars up to that point.

The COT has been criticized by drivers and fans alike. Drivers have complained about the car's handling and negative effect on competition while fans claim it has made the racing more boring.

The rear wing in particular has come under fire since two spectacular wrecks involving Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman at last year's Talladega races. Both cars went airborne, and speculation centered on whether the wing provided the lift to send the cars into the air.

Even the wing's appearance has been criticized, with drivers and fans saying it makes the race cars look even less like the stock cars in which the sport has its roots.
NASCAR grounds wing, bringing back spoiler NASCAR grounds wing, bringing back spoiler Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Friday, January 15, 2010 Rating: 5