Volume III, Issue 4, Page 24

Jeff Gordon’s got a funny kind of deal going with NASCAR fans. He’s got a bunch that loves him but then again, he’s got a bunch that cheers when he’s having a bad day. So it seems like there are no ‘on the fence’ fans when it comes to the four-time Champ. But like him or not, there is a certain amount of importance when a champion speaks on current NASCAR issues. We’ve watched Gordon become more mature over the years and his views are certainly worth reading. See if you agree with him – or not.--JC

: What about today’s speeds and slowing the cars down?

Ron Lewis photo

JG: Here’s the thing: When the speeds are like that, it’s the corner speeds that’s making us go so fast. I always say let’s have 1,200 horsepower if you want to slow us down (laughs) because the less power we have, the faster we go through the corners. The restrictor plate or whatever that spacer-thing is on the Nationwide cars; they were 13 mph faster in the middle of the corner than we were in our cars, but yet the lap times were pretty close. So, you don’t want to slow us down. You want to slow us down through the corners. That is why I asked that because a lot of people will go oh, put a restrictor plate on them or a smaller carburetor or less power, we are still going to go as faster or faster through the corners. More power is actually harder to control so it will sometimes slow you down. I am not saying we need more power, I am just saying, I think the fix if we were looking in that direction, is - and I think that the direction that this goes - if we had last year's car, we would be doing 210 mph at Darlington under these new conditions and Goodyear would be really challenged on the tire. This particular car, it is doing its job and we are going slower through the corners than we were before, the teams are getting better at figuring out how to make the cars better. But regardless of how much slower we are through the corners; this car, the weight distribution of the car left side to right side, the higher center of gravity, while that is great, it slows us down, it wears tires out more. It makes it harder on right side tires in comparison to the older car. To answer your question, to me I don't (know what) the fix is. To me, I wish we could lighten the car up and add more pieces aerodynamically to take away downforce, put the grip in the mechanical side of it. Take less pressure off the tires and allow us to have a little more comfort underneath us. Build a little softer tire, but aerodynamically we slow the cars down some more.  

What do you do?  Do you put more wickers on it? Do you add little flanges and pieces that can be distributed out to all the teams that are made of carbon fiber that just aerodynamically disturb the air over the car?  I don't know all those fixes. I am not smart enough to figure it out, but I do feel like they went in the right direction with this car to slow us down through the corners but now we are starting to figure it out a little bit better and so we are going faster with this car which is pretty amazing in itself, the speeds we are going with this car as much different as it is. I do think that there is something we might be able to do to help the right side of the car.

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