NASCAR & Auto Racing

Can teams save with car of tomorrow? Jack Roush says he doesn't see it

Longtime team owner Jack Roush likes the idea that NASCAR’s new car of tomorrow will cut down on the number of cars a team will need. But Roush doesn’t go along with the idea that the COT will eventually be a big money-saver for Nextel Cup teams.

“The car of tomorrow, I think, will have a result in the reduction of the number of cars that are required to run a program,” Roush said. “But, do I think that the cars will be enough less expensive to be a net save to the teams? No.

“I absolutely feel that there will not be a net save to the teams based on the amount of money that goes into the cars to get the chassis the way that NASCAR wants it for its inspection; then, past the initial inspection, the amount of sheet metal that has to be replaced to fix a relatively small problem.”

He said that even the most minor damage to the cars would require a complete body “because when you get the kind of shot into the body that causes a snout to bend, you almost always have some amount of distress that is put into the rest of the car.

“And, when we had reasonably wide-open, or relatively wide-open tolerances, you were able to let the tolerance be taken out by the effects of the crash. You can’t do that now.”

Roush said he would be all for somebody stamping out a complete steel body that could just be welded onto a chassis.

“The amount of precision that’s required to get the sheet metal in order to pass the tech line is unprecedented in terms of what we’ve had (in the past),” he added.

“For the time being, we anticipate at least a 70 percent to an 80 percent increase in labor that’s required to keep these cars ready to go from one race to the next.”

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