Smokin' with the "Lady in Black"
As if the COT weren’t shaking up enough change in NASCAR – now it’s also breaking Darlington tradition! With the Car of Today, teams used to wedge a piece of wood in the right side of the car between the roll cage and the body. As the cars scraped and scrubbed down the walls of the track, the wood acted as a barrier to keep the sheet metal from denting down onto the tires. The wood would give off a burning smell that helped signify – you got it – your Darlington stripe. Now that the COT has taken over Darlington, there won’t be anymore burning wood. The walls of the COT are packed with so much insulation (see pic of foam), that there’s no room to stick a 2 x 4 in anymore. What are teams to do? Hold out and hope the jam-packed foam (coated in more fire retardant now thanks to the recent smoking of foam that Harvick had) does the same job as the wood – keeping the sheet metal off the tires.