There were rumors that the NASCAR XFINITY Series could be moving towards a new body soon, well that news was confirmed on Wednesday, with series officials confirming the move for three races this season. XFINITY Series teams will have the option of using a flange-fit composite body at three races later this season as the series moves toward incorporating the body into competition full-time by 2019.
XFINITY Series director Wayne Auton told NASCAR.com that teams will have the option of running the composite body at Richmond, Dover and Phoenix this year, and it is expected to also be optional for ’18 at all tracks other than superspeedways.
“It’s an option,” Auton said. “You can still run the steel (body) but we will have some weight and aero changes (in place) between the two bodies” to keep the playing field level.
According to NASCAR, approximately 90-percent of those expected to compete in the Richmond XFINITY Series race on Sept. 8 (7:30 p.m. ET/ NBCSN/MRN) have already indicated they will compete with the new composite body.
But, what’s this mean for the fans?
When the cars are painted up, you won’t be able to tell a difference between the current car and this chassis. There’s no visible differences what so ever.
So, why do it then?
Well, it’s more cost effective. The cars will be in panels instead of one big piece, likely 13 of them, which will be hooked together by the flanges. So, if you’re in a wreck or a piece breaks, you just replace that broken piece instead of fixing the entire car.
“Definitely the amount of labor it takes to re-tool a car (is a big benefit),” Auton continued. “You could take the body off this car and still work on your race car where with a steel-body car, it’s attached to the chassis. If you want to take the front end off and work in the engine compartment, you just unbolt it, take it off, work on your car and when you get ready to go to the race track, put the fender back on it, the hood on it, put the nose on it, load ‘er up, go to the race track and have a great time.
“If you don’t get into the frame and suspension (with damage), you could take the side off a car and put one back on it out in the parking lot. The labor … is where the owners are going to save the money. The body parts are about the same as what a steel body costs but the (savings will be in) labor time, the turnaround time.”
This could be a win/win that could eventually make its way up to the Cup level if the experiment works out the way they intend it to.