By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
We are closing in on the day that the fans, and for the most part the drivers have been waiting for. This weekend the brand new spoiler debuts in the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville.
47 teams in all decided to take advantage of a test of the new spoiler at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday. The end result of the test was slower speeds due to the spoiler producing more drag than the infamous wing.
Paul Menard was the fastest of the afternoon session with a lap of 185.312 mph… to put in perspective how much slower the cars were compared to when they used the wing, that time wouldn’t of even been fast enough to make the field for last fall’s race at Charlotte.
However slower speeds usually do indicate better grip and handling.
“The car is just snugger, and has a little more grip,” According to Scott Speed.
Kevin Harvick concurred with Speed Saying, “The car has a lot of grip with the tire combination and the spoiler so it drives really good.”
However not all drivers agree that the spoiler will make a huge difference. Jeff Gordon had possibly the best quote of the day when he said, “Wins come from great teams, they don’t come from a wing or a spoiler combination.”
So little change, big change, or no change? We won’t really know until Sunday at Martinsville… We can speculate all we want, but one can’t help but wonder if there couldn’t of been worse timing to replace the wing than now. Jimmie Johnson winning aside, the first five races of this season have been one of the most exciting starts to a season in recent memory.
However just the perception that now maybe people can start leveling the playing field with Johnson should be enough to get the excitement flowing through the grandstands, and at the end of the day that is what’s important.