Posted: Tuesday March 27, 2007 10:26AM; Updated: Tuesday March 27, 2007 10:26AM
In 2006, Todd Nesbit, assistant professor of economics at Penn State Erie, and Russell Sobel, professor of economics at West Virginia University, produced a study that explored how drivers react to having cars so safe that they can generally walk away with no injuries after crashing into a concrete wall or another car at a very high rate of speed. "Based on results of our study, we would project that drivers will drive more recklessly and take more risks while driving the Car of Tomorrow," Nesbit said.
While NASCAR's car of tomorrow made its debut at his half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports Inc. President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said he will need to watch the new car at bigger tracks to evaluate it better. An outspoken proponent of the COT, Wheeler said it was a typical Bristol race Sunday even with the new cars, which will be run at 16 races (mostly at tracks a mile and shorter) this year.
Former car owner Cal Wells said he's in talks with sponsors and an ownership group to be part of a two-car effort next season. Wells said he hopes to have a deal done later this spring. He would be a minority owner in the team but run it.
Brian Vickers' cockpit was contaminated by excessive heat and fumes resulting from an exhaust system failure halfway through the race at Bristol. Vickers soldiered on for 200-plus laps while enduring burns on his bottom and feet and noxious exhaust leaking into his racecar. He is doing well plans and is expected to be ready for this weekend's race at Martinsville.
AT&T filed a motion Monday asking for a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against NASCAR that would allow the company to immediately put its logos on the No. 31 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton.
Ameriquest, the mortgage company that became the primary sponsor of Greg Biffle's No. 16 car this season, has asked Roush Fenway to sell off the final two years of its contract, which expires in 2009. The lender's struggling parent company recently announced a second round of layoffs.
Robby Gordon said that his new shop in Charlotte, N.C., will not be ready in May as he had hoped. "The weather this winter has just killed us," said Gordon. "We're moving dirt and getting up to speed on that, it's just taking longer than I wanted, to be honest with you, to get the stuff in place." The Nextel Cup owner/driver did not have a firm completion date, but said the pouring of the foundation should be "in the next couple of weeks."