Motorsport Blog Week 3; The COT, The Car That Left NASCAR In Pieces.

The evil contraption on the top, wing and splitter, nearly killed NASCAR as a whole, and put the mentality that the racing needs change in the heads of high-ranking people in the organization. It was ugly, slow, too dependent on aerodynamics and it ruined the racing. So why would a high downforce monster like this be created? And why was it changed? Well it all starts with a dark day in 2001.

The dark day that started this spiral was February 18th, 2001. The day Dale Earnhardt lost his life, and NASCAR was committed to safety, whatever the cost. The car was developed for 6 years, going through many changes. From a boxier, but less aero-dependent car, to a full wing and splitter setup and that’s what they went with.

2007 Food City 500

It’s 2007, and the COT is gearing up for its first race. Turns out, the car puts on a great show. Many fans love the competition on Bristol Motor Speedway’s 36 degree banks. With a photo finish and a win by Kyle Busch, the car gets high praises…from the fans.

Words of Warning

After the race, Kyle Busch sounded off at the COT. Something that many fans disagreed with and thought the COT lead to a safer, brighter future for NASCAR. The races the car were run in provided spectacular action. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson had another photo finish at Martinsville, another Photo finish at New Hampshire, and a last lap pass for the win at Talladega, the car seemed to be the best thing that NASCAR could have done for the sport! All that changed as NASCAR went into 2008

After several good races, including another last lap pass in the Daytona 500, Atlanta, previously one of the best tracks on the schedule, was ruined by the amount of aerodynamic grip caused by the cars. This lead to clean air winning the race. Kyle Busch won by 4 seconds. Las Vegas was also won by a large margin, which was the pattern for most of the season. There were high points for the car, including an epic duel between Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson at Chicagoland Speedway, a crazy finish at Kansas between Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson, a great race at Richmond in September and a controversial finish at Talladega that saw Tony Stewart win. Many races were good, but they weren’t good enough for the drivers nor the fans.

Oh yeah, almost every fan was mad after that one. To show, this was the same track just one year before.

So yeah, that’s why.

2010: How Everything Got Better

2010, the year of the lead change. 2010 was truly a spectacular year in NASCAR, in terms of lead changes. There was an average of 25.4 lead changes per event, the most in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. This was due to the fact that NASCAR took off the wing, citing safety concerns after 3 acrobatic accidents from May 2009-March 2010. I could describe the 2010 season for you, but that would take to long, here are some of the great races from the 30 events without the wing.

Sorry for giving you so much joy. The removed wing sought to figure out how to remove more downforce and grip from the cars, while still keeping their mind on the safety aspect of the car. In 2011, they removed the edgy front splitter in favor of a more aerodynamic, but less grippy, front end configuration.

2011: One of the Greatest Year's in NASCAR History

You thought 2010 had a bunch of good finishes? Grab some popcorn, your scrolling finger will hurt by the time you get done with this!

So, with all this good racing between 2010 and 2011, what is the moral of this blog post. Overall, the same thing has happened to NASCAR since the introduction of the Gen-6 Car (Article coming in November). This year has been nothing short of spectacular, best season in 10 years, but we had to wait out 2013, 2014, and BEAR THE HORROR that was 2015. Thus, now we have better racing, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Did you have a matter of opinion on the COT? Comment below!
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Till next week!


On the Apex

Awesome article. Now they just need to be ultra fast like when Bill Elliott set the ‘Dega record.

04/10/2016 - 23:43 |
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Meh, could be really dangerous that way. It would be like Austin Dillon’s Daytona crash last year expect for it would be going so fast it would have pierced the catchfencing. Rusty Wallace actually ran a lap of 233mph at Talladega in 2004 without a restrictor plate at a private test session. He was actually bouncing off the rev limiter halfway down the straightway, meaning he could have been going over 245mph down the straights, the speed in the draft would be unprecedented, but unbelievably dangerous.

04/10/2016 - 23:49 |
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Great blog Zac. I really enjoyed reading it.
I do have a question, why the long break till we get the Gen 6 article?

04/12/2016 - 14:38 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

My guess is is that we not only have to wait for this season to finish but see if there is an announcement of any new generation of cars or something. Just a guess.

04/13/2016 - 03:59 |
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.... 3

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry for the late response lol. I’m just waiting to see how the low downforce package works out. The early part of the season is filled with great tracks, I want to see how the package performs on the historically boring tracks.

04/27/2016 - 22:09 |
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