We've been on the fence with NASCAR for some time now. On one hand, it's some of the closest racing anywhere in motorsports, with actual passing and door-handle-to-door-handle action as a matter of course. But on the other, it's become template racing – a personality-driven sport more about the drivers than any sort of loyalty to a particular automaker. The Car Of Tomorrow format really rammed that message home, with a racecar's identity coming down to little more than headlamp stickers slapped on the nose. That's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but we've wondered for some time what's in it for the automakers, who pay big money to stay in a series that has had little increasingly little do with street car sales, let alone innovation.

Apparently General Motors was beginning to wonder the same thing. In a new ESPN report, Rick Hendrick, team owner of Hendrick Motorsports, suggests that GM would have seriously considered leaving NASCAR if it wasn't for the move away from the COT to the new Gen 6 racer. According to Hendrick, GM North America boss Mark Reuss spearheaded the charge away from the 2007 COT and toward a racecar with clearer automaker ties – cars like the new Chevrolet SS racer shown above. Learn more about the fight for a closer-to-production look in the ESPN story at the link.

Now, if we could just get more rear-wheel drive V8 coupes into showrooms....


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  • 46 Comments
      djvolvo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've loathed Nascar for about as long as I can remember and I do not see how these new cars are any different than the same old tube-racers we've all come to expect from this series. The headlights are still stickers for starters...
      Jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      YEA RIGHT, Chevy, nice bluff. Since you're still in NASCAR you can pretend all day that you "seriously considered leaving NASCAR", but you never would have actually done it.
      car czar
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well let me solve this argument for you. I am not a Nascar fan but a Nascar entertainer what does that mean I tune in when there is nothing else to watch on tv it peaks my interest but then I'm reminded these cars aren't real and not relatable think about why all great sports are great. Basketball when you were a kid you where given a ball and hoop to shot it in, football (both american and world the ball has remained the same in both sports, baseball nothing has changed since you were a kid. No Nascar no one grows up driving a stock car its not relatable see this sport heyday was when the cars you saw the track you could go down to dealer with your dad and drive it home it was the driveway. So if Nascar wants to regain that market bring back the real cars. The kicker is safety well lets be honest a tight race at 100mph is as fun to watch as a tight race at 200mph its not the speed that makes it fun its how close to cars come to each other. The battle for the win. That is what makes Nascar entertaining to me. I love watching the short track races (Bristol) where the cars can't build up alot of speed but when they go 3 wide the entertainment factor goes way up.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        CBJMNWLD
        • 1 Year Ago
        There should be a case study on users who live solely for posting a messages about GM. Get over it,
        Brandon Allen
        • 1 Year Ago
        Between your bats*** crazy conspiracy theories you made some good points. Nascar is still template racing, that is true. Nice work there.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Brandon Allen
          [blocked]
      Rob Holiday
      • 1 Year Ago
      I left Nascar a long time ago. It's too boring now. This in NOT stock car racing. There is nothing stock about these cars. There is no real difference between a Nascar Chevrolet or a Dodge. Someone needs to create a racing series that lets the teams do much more customization. Let teams innovate. Give teams the requirements for tires, wheel base, fuel, fuel tank and safety devices and let them chose the rest. Turbo V6's against V8's. Large spoilers for serious traction, or small for speed. Gas mileage against raw power. Allow all of the electronics that Indy cars have. Put the unknown excitement back in racing. Nascar no longer gives the automotive community any major innovations. Let them experiment more!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob Holiday
        [blocked]
          Rob Holiday
          • 1 Year Ago
          You mean what NOT going on. Tell me, how has Nascar changed outside of instituting more restrictions?
        Heinz Richter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob Holiday
        "Nascar no longer gives the automotive community any major innovations. Let them experiment more!" When was the last time that anything useful was incorporated into modern cars that came from NASCAR? For instance, the only motorized items that I own that still use a carburetor is my lawn mower.
          Dwight Bynum Jr.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Heinz Richter
          And your argument is invalid since NASCAR uses fuel injection now. But hey, don't go letting FACTS muddy up your argument. :)
        carnut0913
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob Holiday
        Gee, I didnt see you at the last SCCA solo or rallycross- the last bastions of stock car racing. Also, name me a series where the rules dont govern what you can do with your car- with a goal of parity. Really, you are talking out both sides of your arse.
          AcidTonic
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carnut0913
          Props to pointing out Rallycross.... It's not only for the import cars.... they just dominate it every year. You can enter your domestic though if you'd like..... But these events favor handling over power, and a 140hp Miata will probably embarrass your big V8 the first time he's flooring it through a turn while you're hard on the brakes. Evo 9's and 10's tend to win year after year. Hard to beat guys running 400whp @ 3000rpm with AWD in a 2600lb car.....
          Rob Holiday
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carnut0913
          Parity = Boring I'm not real familiar with SCCA solo or rallycross. Isn't Rallycross for small tuner cars? Are there any of these races in Florida? Never seen one advertised around here.
      RUNRUNRUN@ilikeelectronics.com
      "door-handle-to-door-handle action" uh........ they don't have door handles. They don't have doors either. NASCRAP.
      whofan
      • 1 Year Ago
      It`s suppose to be STOCK car racing. Did I say Stock? What does Stock mean? When NASCAR goes back to their roots it will be great again. I think all the car companys are crazy for supporting it. I could care less when shopping for a car about who wins NASCAR. Back in the 1960`s there were cool cars on the dealers lot because of NASCAR. What is the definition of NASCAR now?
      wooootles
      • 1 Year Ago
      "CoT" was a colossal failure of a move made by bean counters.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wooootles
        Not everyone who does something you don't like is a 'bean counter'.
          wooootles
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          But, factually, CoT -IS- a bean counter move, same templates for everyone to cut costs. I don't like it and it just so happens to be a cost-cutting move that probably cost them more in the long run.
      Love Great Danes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like it can corner left real well.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Love Great Danes
        [blocked]
          hp
          • 1 Year Ago
          Don't they just make 3 left turns to complete a single right at those tracks?
          wooootles
          • 1 Year Ago
          hp, don't be an idiot. Those road courses are ran clockwise.
          snap_understeer_ftw
          • 1 Year Ago
          and Mid Ohio and Mexico
        The Calvinator
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Love Great Danes
        You do realise that a left turn and a right turn from a physics viewpoint are the same, right?
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nascar simply needs to start off with real road going cars. Simple.
        Phil B
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Everyone loves to throw out that old Chestnut, "NASCAR should use REAL stock cars!" but what about the safety issues? Road going cars are designed for 35 MPH impacts, not 180 MPH. So how do you accommodate that without completely altering the structure?!
          Fixitfixitstop
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Phil B
          I'd rather see the cars race at 100mph in real stock cars than at 200mph in clones.
      sfast
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is such a non story. It is a IF on top of a MAYBE. GM wouldn't have pulled out.
      Tahoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree with the state of NASCAR, your article, and the hole they have dug for themselves. Right now NASCAR is only rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! Problem is so many tracks and there owners are so invested in the NASCAR style that it will be years before they can ever change directions. I said it before, that \"NASCAR is no longer relevant\" in the racing world, and they can do nothing but watch it sink unless they do something very drastic to change the perception.
        RUNRUNRUN@ilikeelectronics.com
        @Tahoe
        Great post! A very drastic change (for the better) would be for the cars to be like those in the Aussie V8 Supercar series. Real doors, windshield wipers - for racing in the RAIN - headlights, brake lights, etc. This "Chevy" SS is, in a way, a waste, as it apparently won't be produced after 2016. But, it's what GM does best...
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