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- The puzzles of the new NASCAR car seem to pose a particular challenge to the Ford teams.
- Ford has had just four wins (Austin Sendrick in Daytona, Chase Briscoe in Phoenix and Lugano in Darlington and Gate) and hasn’t won since the first week of June.
- Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, said this week that four wins “isn’t enough. It’s unacceptable.
Although the NASCAR Cup Series Qualifiers grid is yet to be settled with four races remaining in the regular season, the leading teams are already planning, planning and considering a 10-car race for the championship.
You think – there is a lot of it.
despite Next generation car He’s been in 22 point races and two pointless events, and what he might do – or not do – in certain situations and track conditions is still somewhat of a mystery. Racing cars are improved every week, and it often takes years of playing with a particular model to understand all its quirks and quirks.
This model is a relatively young kid, and the teams are still trying to please him.
“We don’t have great data on this car to know what’s real or what BS is simulating,” he said. Joey Logano, 29 times 2018 Cup Winner and Champion “It’s hard to read what’s in real life and what things you see from the simulation data. It’s hard to articulate these things right now without a set of real-world tests on the right track.”
The new car puzzles seem to pose a particular challenge to the Ford teams. Ford only had four victories (Austin Cendrick in Daytonaand Chase Briscoe in Phoenix and Logano in Darlington and Gateway) and haven’t won since the first week of June. On the advanced laps, Ford (1104) is behind Chevrolet (2,739) and Toyota (1676). In nine of the 22 races so far, Ford drivers have driven less than 20 laps.
Mark Rashbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports global director, said this week that four wins “isn’t enough. It’s unacceptable. … We need more drivers in the standings and hopefully at least four if not more drivers will be in qualifying.”
“We’ve had a lot of success with speed on different tracks where we understood that, but we still didn’t win. … We have to improve in all areas because if you are equal in every area, you are exactly that – you are just equal in every area” .
Qualifying offers a new spectacle, of course, with 16 drivers vying for the championship in 10 races set to begin on September 4 at Darlington Raceway.
“We were very strong there (in Darlington) and able to win the race (in the spring),” said Paul Wolfe, Lugano crew chief. “This gives the team confidence that there is a good race to start everything. We have a good foundation, and we will try to find a little more than we had.”
Finding “more” was a challenge across the garage area. Since the car is essentially a racer-specific with parts and parts supplied by third-party vendors, the “working area” in which teams can gain speed is significantly limited compared to last year’s car.
How does the new car compare to the old as far as the teams’ ability to make meaningful changes?
“If the old car was 100%, I feel like you’re 25 with this car,” Wolff said. “There are very few things you design yourself anymore. This box is really small. I think guys are still trying to understand the trade-offs in terms of grip versus what you might gain in the air. With the old car, we had a pretty good understanding of that. Now we’re still playing with things.” “.
Wolff said the limitations that came with the new car necessarily put more responsibility on the driver for speed gains.
“That’s why you see so many different winners and guys that you haven’t seen in the past who are able to get ahead,” he said. “I think NASCAR has accomplished what it strives for as far as making things more equal. … At this point, we will reach a level where the driver will have a greater impact on the overall performance of the car than in previous years.”
Although the new car carries significant differences, Lugano said he still believes the driver and his team have equal responsibilities in terms of the car’s performance.
“I’ve always said it’s 50-50,” Lugano said. “I’ve never seen a really great race car with a mid-level driver win so many races, and I’ve never seen really great drivers with mediocre cars win so many races. I’ve never seen him in any kind of motorsport—F1, NASCAR, late models, modified. I haven’t seen that happen yet.
“The next generation car is still a racing car. I don’t care who you are. You can be Mario Andretti. If the car is far away, you don’t make the difference with the caliber of the drivers there. I don’t see much difference in this car.”
Lugano admitted that the cars are a lot closer than team to team and that “when you’re a little further away now, you might finish 20 where it used to be 12th. This part is different because the cars are closer.”
Lugano said he’s looking forward to the playoffs, which he described as “the most exciting time of the year. … Do we come as a favorite with guns blazing? No we’re not. However, I’ve been in the playoffs before as the frontrunner and didn’t win. I came as the favorite.” Underdog and you already won.
“I’ve learned to keep pushing, keep my head down and keep grinding. It can change in one weekend. You can go from champion to zero and from zero to champion real fast.”
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