NASCAR's Car of Today: A test drive

Recently superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a plea to the NASCAR governing body that the current race car model needs to be improved. Today I present a video demonstrating the pros and cons of the so-called "Car of Today".

Gary Spencer
2 min read

The results and fighting from this past weekend's Carfax 250 wasn't the only NASCAR-related news in the last few days. It's not a secret that many NASCAR drivers aren't happy with the modifications made to NASCAR vehicles, often referred to as the "Car of Today" (which is sometimes abbreviated as CoT). As recently as this last Friday, famed driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. addressed NASCAR sanctioning officials pleading for further development of the so-called "CoT" as a suggestion to improve the sport in terms of drivers' use and how the drivers compete. Despite Earnhardt's recent address and common sentiment among drivers, NASCAR president Mike Helton blew off this criticism, citing that Earnhardt was simply pissed off because of his lower than expected Sprint Cup stats and standings.

This video came out in 2008 when the "CoT" (which then was an acronym for "Car of Tomorrow") was being introduced to the sport, and it features a Car and Driver reviewer taking a Toyota Camry version of the new NASCAR standard vehicle out for a test run around the tracks (dig that engine roar at 1:11 mark!). Many of the comments by the reviewer have been echoed by several notable NASCAR drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, and even crew members. Some of the negative commentary made by the reviewer and/or NASCAR drivers has included criticism such as: the 800 hp engine is too much for the smaller rear tires, diminished traction and control, and a more even weight distribution from left side to right side of tires which makes taking curves and turns more difficult on an oval track. In fact, at a couple of points in this video you can see the reviewing driver having trouble navigating the curves and staying within the lines.