NASCAR is hoping to get an opposite reaction to its new COT car in it second tier series. The Nationwide Series debuted a new car this week, in a test at Daytona International Speedway. The cars, built to look like the muscle cars of Ford, and suped up versions of the Chevy Impala, Toyota Camry, and Dodge Challenger. The cars are meant to stir up some new fans for a second tier series that has largely failed to establish its own identity in recent years.
While the winged version of the COT that debuted in the premier Cu p series was largely lampooned by NASCAR fans, it seems the fans and drivers alike are really taking to the new cars for the Nationwide series. I mean who wouldn’t want to ride around in a Ford Mustang that could do close to 190 miles per hour.
In a way this is a return to NASCAR routs, when the cars that raced each weekend very much resembled the cars people could buy at their local dealer. The Nationwide series COT seems to do just that. While the nose of the car looks very much like a production version of the car, NASCAR is hoping to partially reinvent this series as a Muscle Car series and expose it to a new legion of fans.
Of course at some point NASCAR is going to have to find a way to populate this series with legitimate talent that is not racing on the cup side. Right now about half the field of a Nationwide series race is filled with part time drivers from the Cup series looking for something to occupy their Saturdays. Until a legitimate field of not quite ready for the cup series emerges, this series will always struggle to find a large audience.