Jan 11, 2013; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers exit turn four during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Generation Six Car- A Defining Moment

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NASCAR will debut the Generation Six car at the Daytona 500. The 2013 Daytona 500 may also be the start of a turning point in the sport’s history.

There are many things to look forward to when the Daytona 500 kicks off the NASCAR Sprint Cup series season in two weeks. The most obvious thing that has people excited about the new season is the new “Generation Six” car, also called the “Gen6″ car. The Gen6 car represents the way stock cars used to be before the “Car of Tomorrow” debuted in 2007. The Gen6 cars now better resemble the manufacturers and their street cars, similar to stock cars before 2007. Each make now has a stock car that better represents its street car with distinct body lines and character. Cars that will be on track in 2013 include the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.

Everybody, from fans to teams, has raved about the looks of the Gen6 cars. Fans feel like they are more a part of the sport now that the car they drive to work looks like the car on the race track again. Teams are excited about the Gen6 car because the stock cars look like race cars again and look fast. The looks are just the beginning of what makes people excited about the Gen6 car.

Not only do the cars look good, but after testing the new cars, drivers and crews are confident that fans will see better racing in 2013 than seasons past. Drivers feel they have more control of their cars than they ever had with the COT. More control of the cars makes teams believe fans will see more passing and closer racing in 2013.

The new Gen6 car may also lend itself to veteran drivers such as Jeff Gordon or Jeff Burton. Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton, two people that have raced in the Sprint Cup series since the 90’s, said during Daytona testing that the Gen6 cars drive more similar to the stock cars in the late 90’s and 2000’s. Given the two drivers success earlier in their careers and their recent remarks, the new car may give veteran drivers an advantage over young drivers in the Sprint Cup series. That is something veteran fans can get excited about as young and unfamiliar faces join NASCAR and they watch their favorite driver in his last few seasons. But at the end of the day, everybody expects better racing in 2013, creating more passing and closer finishes and that’s what fans want to see.

Manufacturers hope the Generation Six cars also bring back manufacturer rivalries that fans and crews use to take part in before the COT debuted. The COT, with identical templates for all makes in the Sprint Cup, ended manufacturer rivalries because everybody’s cars were made the same other than the emblem on the hood. The biggest manufacturer argument between fans and crews before the COT arrived was the talk of who had the biggest advantage in speed and horsepower.

Now with three different body styles, there will be three different arguments from fans about how their favorite driver has less of an advantage to the other driver who drives another manufacturer, all in an effort to help their favorite driver be a little faster on race day. Teams will also go back to lobbying NASCAR to make their manufacturer a little more quicker as well. All indications are that we will see manufacturer rivalries all over again in 2013. That’s something any race fan can be excited about as they trash talk their friends.

Jan 24, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; The 2013 Ford Fusion race cars perform a demonstration on the track for the media after the Ford press conference during the 2012 Sprint media tour at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The new Generation Six car has everybody as excited as they have ever been about a new car in the Sprint Cup series. Everybody tends to agree that the Gen6 cars are the best looking stock cars NASCAR has ever raced. And to add to the good looks, the new cars also come with the many safety features that were introduced from the COT.

The Gen6 cars will be the safest, best looking and fastest cars people have seen. And teams are optimistic that we will also see some of the best racing in recent years as well. The new Gen6 car, along with all these factors, has people as excited as they have ever been to start a new NASCAR season.

If predictions are correct and we have closer battles on the race track in 2013, NASCAR may be on the rise as one of the most watched sports in the world. Years from now, NASCAR may look back at the Generation Six car as the turning point that made the sport one of the premier sports in the world. The new cars make the average American feel relevant to NASCAR again as they watch the car they drive everyday, racing at the track on Sunday. And as they say in the auto industry, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday”.

The Generation Six car gets back to NASCAR’s roots. When NASCAR was at its roots and making the cars relevant to the fans, people connected. People are connecting to the Gen6 car already and exciting races will make that connection stronger and grow NASCAR’s relevance to the everyday sports fan.

Fans get to watch the new Generation Six cars debut in two weeks as drivers take the green flag for the Daytona 500 and see history be made.

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Tags: Generation Six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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