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NASCAR Xfinity: series transitions to composite bodies

Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR is transitioning its Xfinity Series competitors to composite bodies. Teams in the series will have the option to use the bodies for upcoming races at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway in 2017 and in all races, except superspeedway races in 2018. They’re expected to become mandatory in 2019.

The flange-fit composite body will consist of 13 separate panels and will be provided by Five Star RaceCar Bodies. Several of the panels will have security features aimed at preventing teams from tampering with them. According to NASCAR Senior Director of Research and Development Brett Bodine, repairs to damaged cars should be easier with the composite bodies.

“Say you damage a right-rear quarter-panel,” Bodine said. “It can be easily unbolted from the other body panels and from the chassis, and another one can be bolted on in its place. And not only at at a race-event weekend, but that is how we envision this repair process taking place after an event. The turnaround time for a team that might have received damage at an event should be significantly reduced by the fact that these panels can be unbolted and a new one put on.”

The inspection process for cars using the composite bodies during the optional period will not change, and neither will the rules pertaining to in-race repairs, including prohibiting team from replacing body panels during races.

While the composite bodies will be optional in the three aforementioned 2017 races and in 2018, those using them will have a competitive advantage in those races. One advantage will be less weight.

“There will be competition restrictions on the steel body versus the flange-fit,” Bodine said “Obviously, we want the flange-fit to be the body of the future and phase out the steel body. There will be weight and aero differences between the two to make sure that the flange-fit body has a competitive advantage.”

Whether or not the bodies will be introduced in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is unknown.

“Right now, we’re 100 percent focused on the success of this body in Xfinity,” Bodine said. “We’ll, certainly learn about the performance of the body and the durability, and certainly, always look at potentially moving things into other series, but currently, we are just worried about Xfinity.”

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on August 10, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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