NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

             === NASCAR optimistic about its new Sprint Cup car ===
 Charlotte,  NC (Sports Network) - NASCAR has high hopes that its new Gen-6 car
 will increase the competition in the Sprint Cup Series for the 2013 season.
 During a news conference on Tuesday, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said
 he was quite confident the Gen-6 car will improve competition and provide more
 exciting  racing  for the  fans. The  car will make  its debut  in the Feb. 16
 Sprint  Unlimited  (pre-season,  non-points  race)  at  Daytona  International
 Speedway. The season-opening Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 24.
 France  also  noted how NASCAR will  measure the success of the car throughout
 the season.
 "I  think we'll measure  it by lead changes, we'll measure it by how it races,
 we'll  measure it  by how  the drivers  feel about  it, and  knowing that  not
 everybody will always love every rules package or thing that we do, that's for
 sure, but we'll look at it very simply," he said.
 France  explained the  concept of the car  was started a few years ago and has
 gone through an unprecedented amount of collaboration among NASCAR, the teams,
 the auto manufacturers and the racetracks.
 Each of the three auto manufacturers in NASCAR's top series -- Chevrolet, Ford
 and Toyota -- have designs on its current cars that are considerably different
 from the previous ones (the Car of Tomorrow) used in the sport from 2007-12.
 Sprint  Cup teams  have tested the car at Daytona and Charlotte Motor Speedway
 this  month. Drivers  such as  reigning  series champion  Brad Keselowski  and
 three-time titleholder Tony Stewart have praised it.
 "We've  been highly encouraged  by the results that we've seen at the tests at
 Daytona  and  Charlotte earlier this  month, and  are optimistic that not only
 will  the cars  look great,  we  believe they  will race  great," NASCAR  vice
 president of competition Robin Pemberton said during the news conference. "The
 teams  have been doing  a great job getting their cars ready. The drivers have
 provided excellent feedback.
 "I really believe we're going to see some of the most competitive, intense and
 exciting  racing  that we've seen in  quite some time. We're excited about the
 direction we're headed with our competition."
 NASCAR  also laid out its plans for a new track-drying system this season. The
 system  will  significantly reduce  the  amount  of  time  required to  dry  a
 racetrack, depending on its length.
 "We'll  be debuting our first cycle, our first generation of this track-drying
 system,  which is pretty interesting, and we also are going to do it in a much
 more green, carbon-emission friendly way," France said. "So what that means is
 obviously when you're at the track, we're going to be able to dry Martinsville
 (0.526-mile oval) off in 15 minutes. It's going to be a spectacular thing, and
 all auto racing will benefit from this as we go down the road."
 01/22 16:43:33 ET

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