Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ford May Have Better NASCAR Idea in '94

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ford May Have Better NASCAR Idea in '94

Article excerpt

It's a little too early to know for sure, but Ford may truly have a better idea in NASCAR for 1994 - at least at the start of the season.

For those wondering what this year's edition of the annual Daytona Speed Weeks controversy will be, the early bettering says the favorite is the new nose and rear deck on the Thunderbirds.

NASCAR has approved the new pieces because they are being used on the 1994 production Thunderbirds. Delivery to the stock car teams began this month and the new configuration will be tested thoroughly before the opening of Daytona 500 practice Feb. 11.

"From what we've seen in the wind tunnel, the new pieces are going to be great," said Rusty Wallace, whose Penske South Racing team is in the process of switching from Pontiacs to Fords. "The nose, in particular, was built as an integral part of the car, and it seems to make it real aerodynamic."

A crew chief for one of the General Motors teams was more specific:

"It's going to be a killer. Ford was real tough last year, but they should be even harder to beat now. But the Chevrolets should be better, too. It'll be a good show."

Chevrolet knocked Ford off the pedestal of the manufacturers' championship last year after a one-year stand, but it was a one-point win in one of the most closely contested races ever in NASCAR. In fact, Pontiac, which never has won the manufacturers' title, finished a close six points behind in third.

Hoosier's new stock car radials are undergoing a test program and the owner of the small Indiana tire company, Bob Newton, couldn't be happier with the progress.

"Every time we've gotten guys to put our tires on, they've gone faster," Newton said. "We're right where we expected to be - maybe a little farther along than we expected to be at this point - and we'll be ready for the Daytona 500 (on Feb. 20)."

Goodyear, which introduced radial tire technology in both the Winston Cup and Indy car series, would seem to hold an edge going into the new season based on experience.

But Newton, talking with Jack Flowers of the weekly Speedway Scene, said, "I'm telling you what's going to happen at Daytona - we've got 'em covered dead-to-one. They're going to get whipped. …

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