• Mar 25, 2007
This is spoiler-free until after the jump.

NASCAR's coming out party for the series new racing car, the unfortunately-named "Car of Tomorrow" (what is this, a car show in 1957?) is officially over. That means that NASCAR history has been made by one of the new machines, which are identifiable by their new rear wings and front splitters. Those visual cues are part of a whole host of changes that are said to make the COT the safest stock car ever.

So, who won? Follow the jump to find out.

[Source: NASCAR]

Since NASCAR is like the NBA in that you can get away with watching the last few minutes and still catch the most important part of the event, I was able to check in late and still see some good stuff happen. (I had it on in the background all afternoon, but wasn't actively watching.) As the race was winding down, leader Denny Hamlin (#11) was trying to hold off Kyle Busch in the #5 Impala SS, but fate intervened.

Jimmie Johnson had blown a tire and was trying to stay low so that he could limp into pit lane. His car refused to cooperate, however, and he kept drifting up, creating a bit of a traffic jam as the rest of the pack worked to get safely around him. Busch capitalized, passing Hamlin on the outside just before the caution flag game out. This was with around 16 laps to go. While under caution, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton both pitted and took on fresh tires. When the green flag came back out with 9 or 10 laps to go, they were both on fire, charging up the field, ultimately taking 2nd (Gordon) and 3rd position (Burton). There was real juice to the racing, as Burton and Gordon were battling each other very hard as they tried to catch Busch.

Then the #6 car hit the wall with 3 laps to go, bringing out the yellow once again. The race would go to overtime, with a Green - White -Checkered flag finish after the restart.

Once the #6 was cleared and the race kicked off again, Burton immediately overtook Gordon for the #2 spot and was on Kyle Bush's case. This set up a wild finish with Bristol being a short track and laps vanishing almost instantly. Coming out of the final turn, Burton and Busch were side-by-side running flat-out for the checkered flag. Busch took it by around half a car length, and I found myself thinking, "You know, maybe this NASCAR thing isn't so bad after all."

If you just watch the last 20 minutes, that is.

Click image for photo gallery

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just cannot get into nascar. Its so freggin boring. It would be better if the cars were actually based on the production cars. Or even remotely close! These things are all the same with different decals. Who wants to watch that going in circles for 5 hours? Bleh.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For the record I think Bristol is the best Nascar oval. And I also think the drivers are very talented. Maybe not as talented as some others (rally?), but very talented.

      Its the boring clonish cars that I have a problem with.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have been to both F1 NASCAR races and I didn't even stay for half of the F1 race. I had the pleasure of attending the 2005 US Grand Prix and got to see the public Ferrari test session.

      23. Finally, we get the pointless "NASCAR is boring" post! I guess the episode of Spongebob ended.
      • 7 Years Ago
      One thing worth mentioning: to say the cars are all the same with different decals isn't really correct. The body shape is the same, but each manufacturer designs and runs its own engines. This does make it a difference which make you race for, as the Toyota boys are finding out this year.

      I wish they could run stock body shapes too, but every sedan racing series is moving in the spec direction, necessitated by efforts to improve safety and complaints by fans and drivers that their car has a disadvantage. It's happening to DTM, V8 Supercars, WTCC and with a few more years these cars will all be fibreglass/metal shells with decals as well. NASCAR itself hasn't had a single piece of sheetmetal match the road version in over 10 years, so this isn't really a recent occurence. But I guess whining never gets old for some people...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe it's just me, but for some reason, the name, combined with this picture: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2007-food-city-500/193984/ just makes it look like a video game (and at first I thought it was....).

      • 7 Years Ago
      All that talk about JPM and you don't realize that he is a rookie? A rookie that already won a race?

      Everytime he races, he leaves plenty of drivers who didn't do anything in their lifes besides racing NASCAR cars behind him. And he is on his first races, so... you better give him some credit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Will, perhaps it's because JPM is far more used to driving a 900hp, 600kg open-wheeler around a GP circuit as that's what he's done pretty much exclusively for the past several years than a 1.5 tonne stock car around an oval hmm? Compared to almost the entire NASCAR field who've been racing these kind of cars on these kinds of tracks for many years. It's like expecting a world record holding 100m sprint dude to win a marathon, it may all be running but it's as different as it can be while still being running.

      Oh, and who the hell considers JPM to be one of the best drivers in the world? Why do you think he basically got kicked out of F1? It's because he isn't good enough, just like Villeneuve (though he was very good but stuck around for way too long afterwards).

      A lot of people think NASCAR is boring. A lot of people think the other super slow American sports like baseball and American football are boring. People have different tastes, they're allowed to dislike NASCAR just as much as you are allowed to like it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I actually sat down for the first time in about 7 years and watched this race today. The car of tomorrow has made this a hell of alot more interesting then it has been ever since the early 90's. The cars better resemble normal vehicles then products of the windtunnel. It definately has some kinks to work out though such as the front splitters slicing competitors tires. I mean they spent how much money developing these cars and they never saw that coming? As far as the homologation of cars is concerned, I also see this in every other series, its just not as blatant.

      Bristol is one of the best tracks on the circuit because the drivers are always active, there is no lull in the action as they fly down a 3/4 mile straightaway. As far as skill is concerned, its pretty impressive that as many cars finished as they did considering the large field.

      Nascar is different then F1, some people just need to realize that. Yes it gets boring watching the races on the superspeedways, but it's just as bad watching the polesitter in an F1 race lead every single lap on the way to victory.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Crap. Sorry for the half dozen repeat posts, but if you're gonna implement immediate posting, maybe have it so that the post shows up immediately as well. It wasn't showing up for me (even with refreshing) until after about 5 retries.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Lee Gibson and Deezee are missing something here. There are a lot of very good spec series out there that can be very entertaining. I don't necessarily believe that NASCAR should be one, but if it is, why should you care? Spec series are still competitive, focusing instead on the skills of the driver and the strategy of the team. In some ways I think this is better because it eliminates one manufacturer (read Ferrari) from coming in and dominating based on money alone (arguable maybe). Also, if you want to see production cars (or near production cars) running against each other, we have three great series already in the US for that, Grand Am, ALMS, and Speed World Challenge; There isn't really any more room for a fourth.

      Unfortunately, I will have to agree with far jr in that it has become to big of a marketing giant. I wish it still had the down home feel it had back in the 80's and early 90's. I'm too young to remember anything before that, but It was great racing back in those days.
      • 7 Years Ago
      NASCAR is the most boring thing to watch...EVER.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am glad that people have their entertainment, and far-be-it for me to deprive them. I don't have a problem with motorsports, or even oval track racing in general. I don't even have a fundemental problem with nascar fans.

      But on a technical level, this sort of racing is boring.
      different engines all regulated to be the same.
      Different frames all regulated to be the same.
      Different *Sedan* bodies turned into coupes, all regulated to be the same.
      how is this a formula for anything but grandstanding, and cheating?

      someone once called NASCAR aptly, I think, taxi-cab racing. Drivers become the celebrities because the cars aren't different, nor allowed to be. Marketing becomes the impetus, and celebrity it's associated bonus.

      NASCAR has become the posterchild for "SOLD OUT". EVERYTHING is named. Whether you are a fan or not, You can't speak a sentence about a particular race, at a particular track, regarding a particular car and driver without dropping at least half a dozen associated brand names. It is worse than the side-effect listings on pharmaceutical commercials.

      The rules and the money have run amok, and ruined an otherwise harmless motorsport format, in a different way than rules and money have ruined other forms of motorsport.

      As I said, I have no problem with NASCAR fans, but I still have to laugh to myself that people spend lots of hard earned money to wear, own, display, and show off a bunch of memorabilia that is inherently advertizement.

      Do the sponsers pay the people who wear nascar driver-style jackets, with all of the brand name patches included, in public?

      That has to be thousands of dollars worth of ad-space that companies are getting money for, rather than paying money for. What a deal!!!

      The corporate sponsors pay to put those logos on the cars as advertising. Yet the people who buy the memorabilia PAY for those products. One would think that those memorabilia products that have sponsor logos would be free, or even pay the customers to provide that public ad-space. But you know that john q. nascar paid some hard earned money for it.
    • Load More Comments