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


  1. This whole spoiler thing has me thinking about the NNS COT.

    The spoiler in Cup has had a very long history of controversy going back to the 80's and as recently as the 2002 Daytona 500. Because many times Cup car were different aerodynamically from brand to brand the default change to to the car was and has always been the spoiler.

    One brand would cry they were disadvantaged, a change would be made then another brand would cry etc. The 2002 500 featured 3 spoiler changes during speedweeks alone.

    Now, in NNS we will have the new cars, the Mustang and Challenger and the "old" cars the Impala and Toyota. Both sets of cars are very far apart with respects to aerodynamics and I'd bet a dollar to donuts that the Spoiler Wars will once again be part of NASCAR.

  2. Marc, thank for your comments. From what you said, I can definitely see the "Spoiler Wars" returning to NASCAR, in Nationwide and Cup once the change is implemented. It will be interesting to see how the different brands adjust to the spoiler and what kinds of changes may be made.

  3. I doubt it will be a problem in Cup because all the cars are the same, in fact I doubt a spoiler in Cup will produce much difference at all.

    It's possible Cup cars will be less stable, based on many drivers saying the wing has allowed more control of the rear end due to the relatively large side panels on the wing.

    That said, the NNS Toys and Impalas are much slicker in the front end as opposed to the Challengers and Mustangs that have a relatively flat grill.

    I've got a request in to Diandra of the Stock Car Science blog to look at the issue for the NNS cars if she posts something or sends me an email I'll let you know.

  4. Thanks Marc for the awesome comments. Would love to hear what Diandra has to say!