Sprint Cup Car Comparison
With the advent of NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, Nationwide Series cars have become very different from their Sprint Cup Series counterparts, the main differences being a slightly shorter wheelbase (105″ instead of 110″), 100 pounds less weight, and a less powerful engine. In the past, Nationwide Series competitors could use makes of cars not used in the Cup series, as well as V-6 engines instead of Cup’s V-8s.
In the early ’80s, teams were switching from the General Motors 1971–77 X-Body compact cars, with a 311-cubic inch engines. Later, teams were using General Motors 1982–87 G-body cars. Ford teams have used the Thunderbird cars consistently.
In 1989, NASCAR changed rules requiring cars to use current body styles, similar to the Sprint Cup cars. However, the cars still used V6 engines. The cars gradually changed to cars similar to Cup cars.
In 1995, changes were made. The series switched to V-8s with a compression ratio of 9:1 (as opposed to 14:1 for Cup at the time). The vehicle weight with driver was set at 3,300 pounds (as opposed to 3,400 for Cup). The body style changes, as well as the introduction of V-8s, made the two series’ cars increasingly similar.
The suspensions, brake systems, transmissions, are identical between each series. The Car of Tomorrow does eliminate some of these similarities. The Car of Tomorrow is taller and wider than the current generation vehicles in the Nationwide Series and utilizes a front splitter opposed to a front valance. The Car of Tomorrow has also been setting pole speeds slower than the Nationwide Series cars at companion races.
Previously, Nationwide Series cars used fuel that contained lead. NASCAR conducted a three-race test of unleaded fuel in this series that began with the July 29, 2006 race at Gateway International Raceway. The fuel, Sunoco GT 260 Unleaded, became mandatory in all series starting with the second weekend of the 2007 series, as Daytona was the last race weekend with leaded fuel.
Another distinction between the cars became clear in 2008. NASCAR had developed rain tires for road course racing in both series, but never had to use them in race conditions. The program was abandoned by the Sprint Cup Series in 2005, but the Nationwide Series continued to use tires as races at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could not be planned with rain dates. When rain started to fall at the 2008 NAPA Auto Parts 200, the tires were given their first laps under race conditions.
Chassis: Steel tube frame with safety roll cage, must be NASCAR standards.
Engine Displacement: 5.8 L (5,800 cc) (358 in³) Pushrod V8.
Transmission: 4 Speed Manual.
Weight: 3,100 lb (1,406 kg) Minimum (without driver); 3,300 lb (1,497 kg) Minimum (with driver).
Power Output: 650–700 hp (485–522 kw) unrestricted, ≈450 hp (335 kW) restricted.
Torque: 700 N·m (520 ft·lbf).
Fuel: 98 octane unleaded gasoline provided by Sunoco.
Fuel capacity: 18 US gal (68 L).
Fuel delivery: Carburetion.
Compression ratio: 12:1.
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated.
Carburetor size: 390 ft³/min (184 L/s) 4 Barrel.
Wheelbase: 105 in (2,667 mm).
Steering: Power, recirculating ball.
Tires: Slick tires and rain tires provided by Goodyear.
Length: 208 in (5,283 mm).
Width: 72.5 in (1,841 mm).
Height: 51 in (1,295 mm).
Safety equipment: HANS device, Seat belt 6-point supplied by Willans.
Nationwide Car of Tomorrow (CoT)
The NASCAR Nationwide Series unveiled its “Car of Tomorrow” (CoT) at the July 2010 race at Daytona International Speedway. Before being fully integrated in the 2011 season, it was also used in 2010 races at Michigan International Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The body and aerodynamic package is different than the Sprint Cup Series cars. The Nationwide CoT has important differences from the Sprint Cup CoT, and the current Nationwide car. The Nationwide CoT shares its chassis with the Sprint Cup CoT, but not the body because its wheelbase has been extended to 110 inches (2794 millimeters).
The body also has differences between each manufacturer, but still within strict aerodynamic guidelines provided by NASCAR. The Chevrolet car body resembles the Impala, the Dodge body the Challenger, the Ford body the Mustang and the Toyota body the Camry
Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (1982–1983)
Dodge Challenger: 1982
Ford Fairmont: 1982–1983
Chevrolet Nova: 1982–1983
Oldsmobile Omega: 1982–1983
Pontiac Ventura: 1982–1983
Busch Grand National Series (1984–2003)
Dodge Intrepid: 2002–2003
Ford Fairmont: 1984–1986
Ford Thunderbird: 1987–1997
Ford Taurus: 1998–2003
Mercury Cougar: 1984
Buick Regal: 1985, 1988–1991
Buick LeSabre: 1986–1989
Chevrolet Monte Carlo: 1986–1988, 1995–2003
Chevrolet Nova: 1984–1988
Chevrolet Lumina: 1989–1995
Oldsmobile Omega: 1984–1987
Oldsmobile Delta 88: 1986–1993
Pontiac Ventura: 1984–1987
Pontiac Grand Prix: 1988–2003
Busch Series (2004–2007)
Dodge Intrepid: 2004
Dodge Charger: 2005–2007
Ford Taurus: 2004–2005
Ford Fusion: 2006–2007
Pontiac Grand Prix: 2004 (No factory Support)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo: 2004–2005
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS: 2006–2007
Toyota Camry: 2007
Nationwide Series (2008–Present)
Dodge Charger: 2008 – 2010
Dodge Challenger: 2010 – Present (COT Races)
Ford Fusion: 2008 – 2010
Ford Mustang: 2010 (COT Races)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS: 2008
Chevrolet Impala SS: 2009 (no factory support)
Chevrolet Impala: 2010 – Present (All Races) (no factory support)
Toyota Camry: 2008 – Present