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Old 02-18-2019, 11:36 AM
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A NASCAR question about car bodies


As much as I pay attention to sports, I know nothing about motorsports.

(Especially ironic as I've lived in Indianapolis. Charlotte and close to Daytona, but that's neither here nor there)

During the Daytona 500 promotion, one of the drivers (Joey Lagano?) was saying how he feels good about this race because he moved from a Ford Fusion into a Mustang. Does that actually make a difference? Isn't the make/model of the car just a branding thing? Is there really a difference between a Fusion body and Mustang Body? Or is it just more branding?

I can see there might be a difference between brands. The Camaro team uses different parts than the Toyota team so it drives different for example, but the body itself is just a shell isn't it?

Help me learn!
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:38 AM
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Yes, it's just a shell, but I imagine that there's some difference in aerodynamics between the various "bodies," since, as I understand it, NASCAR still requires that the bodies bear at least a passing resemblance to the production car they're meant to represent.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 02-18-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
NASCAR still requires that the bodies bear at least a passing resemblance to the production car they're meant to represent.
Yeah, passing resemblance. Like, if you passed it going in the other direction, you might say "that's a Mustang". As long as you don't look too close.

NASCAR cars used to look a lot more like their production cousins. You could tell the difference between a Monte Carlo, Regal, and Cutlass, not to mention Thunderbirds, at a glance even on low-def TV. Now they're all just aeroshells.

You should check out NHRA. Pro Stock and to a larger extent Funny Cars are unrecognizable shells. Any resemblance to actual production cars is purely coincidental.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:48 PM
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A related question if I might.

If they are driving a Ford body, how much of the rest of the car is Ford? Transmission? Engine? Brakes? None of the above?
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:02 PM
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I've seen the body inspection templates in the garage area at Daytona. They are almost identical, to maybe a millimeter or two, but they each have to be labeled Ford/Chevy/Toyota. Without the stickers, there would be no way to tell them apart visually.

No, virtually nothing on a "stock" car is stock. Just the car manufacturer logo, and that's a sticker. But, that's who pays for almost everything, so all the participants have to play-act accordingly.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:13 PM
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A related question if I might.

If they are driving a Ford body, how much of the rest of the car is Ford? Transmission? Engine? Brakes? None of the above?
In the beginning, everything. Now, almost nothing. And a continuous spectrum of drifting away from "stock" in between.

The chassis are 100% race car fabricated. the suspension still uses a version of the 1965 Chevy long trailing arm rear suspension and front suspension.

Up until at least the late 80s the cars still had to use a production-based V8 that agreed with the body. But then GM was allowed "corporate" engines, so Pontiacs and Olds could run SBC engines. Now they run some race hybrid engine that has precious little in common with their production counterpart.

NASCAR has become a "spec" series. They want the cars identical and they pretty much are. You used to be able to not only see the differences between Fords and Chevies and Pontiacs, but they performed differently as well.

At least the dumb "Car of tomorrow" became the "car of yesterday" pretty quickly.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:13 PM
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I figured that was the case. Thanks for the confirmation.

I had friends involved in SCCA reacing back in the 70s. Completely different concept for most classes.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:20 PM
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I figured that was the case. Thanks for the confirmation.

I had friends involved in SCCA reacing back in the 70s. Completely different concept for most classes.
My brother races SCCA. He loves the fat that the cars are real cars, not like NASCAR.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:39 PM
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The Fusion has front wheel drive. The Mustang is rear wheel drive. wouldn't the NASCAR models be the same?
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:43 PM
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The Fusion has front wheel drive. The Mustang is rear wheel drive. wouldn't the NASCAR models be the same?
No. Also, Toyota has never built and sold any rear wheel drive, push rod carburetted v8 camry's.
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It may be because I'm a drooling simpleton with the attention span of a demented gnat, but would you mind explaining everything in words of one syllable. 140 chars max.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:54 PM
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Btw, yes, I know they have fuel injection now, but that is a recent change.
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It may be because I'm a drooling simpleton with the attention span of a demented gnat, but would you mind explaining everything in words of one syllable. 140 chars max.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:10 PM
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they used to say win on Sunday , sell on Monday meaning winning races led to more sales for that brand of car.

Also NASCAR was way behind other forms of racing when it came to safety. That's why Dale Earnhardt died wearing such an old crappy helmet , that was allowed back then.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
they used to say win on Sunday , sell on Monday meaning winning races led to more sales for that brand of car.

Also NASCAR was way behind other forms of racing when it came to safety. That's why Dale Earnhardt died wearing such an old crappy helmet , that was allowed back then.
To be fair, it wasn't the helmet (open face) that killed him. It was the snapping of the neck due to the impact, which the HANS device prevents.

And watch the Michael Waltrip Bristol crash if you think the cars weren't safe. or Bobby Allison's Talledaga pinwheel, or Richard Petty Daytona pinwheel. No injuries in any of those crashes. Try that in an F1 car.
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