Tuesday, January 15, 2008

NASCAR Dodge Cars Undergoes Changes

With fourteen races already in the books in the 2007 Nextel Cup Series, Chevrolet cars are still dominating the field with thirteen wins. The only other car to finish at this year?s Nextel Cup is Matt Kenseth?s Number 17 Ford at the Auto Club 500, the second race of the season. From that race through the Ponoco 500 held at the Pocono Raceway, the Chevrolet Impalas have won every race.The Dodge Avenger NASCAR car though is making a challenge to the domination of Chevrolet with back-to-back second place for Ryan Newman who is driving the Number 12 Dodge Avenger.At the Pocono 500, the Dodge cars fielded for this year?s Nextel Cup Series has been fitted with new noses in the hope that the change will give Dodge its first win of the season. Unfortunately though, critics pointed out that the new nose installed may have cost Dodge a win at the race.Mike Accavitti, the Director of the Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing and Communication, has this to say about the new nose having put them behind the competition: ?We tested the nose together several times last year. We all came to a conclusion. We all reached an agreement that it was the right thing to do. Every team had an input and every team agreed to that. When we put the nose on the car, it affected the suspension setup more on those downforce tracks than we had anticipated. It?s taken a little while to get our arms around what the issues were and get some action plans in place.?Accavitti also pointed out that aside from focusing on the performance of their current cars, they are also exerting effort on improving their performance of the Car of Tomorrow which is also known as the COT. ?At the same time, we?re trying to figure out the COT, so that?s really what kind of got us behind the 8 ball. We feel like we?re really picking up some steam now in our performance, average finish performance is showing it,? he said.One of the most promising young drivers this season driving a Dodge is Kasey Kahne. The 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year has not finished in the top ten since the first race of the season. Normally, it would cause for concern for Dodge. Accavitti though is confident that Kahne has what it takes to perform well for the remainder of the season. ?Kasey is the real deal. We have the utmost faith in Kasey and the Evernham Motorsports Organization. They?re a class act team, and they?re going to do what they need to do to get Kasey back in victory lane,? says Accavitti.While Kasey Kahne is struggling, Ryan Newman, another Dodge driver, is performing well. He seems to be coasting in the most recent races of the season as if he is driving a Dodge cold air intake system-equipped Dodge Charger. Accavitti addressed the success of Newman compared to the lackluster performance of other Dodge cars saying: ?This is one of the biggest issues we?ve had. We can go incredibly fast as a group for one lap. We saw this actually last year. Last year the hypothesis was that it?s a clean air issue.?With the Dodge cars receiving modifications and improving their performance, it would be easy to believe that a Dodge victory will be coming soon.

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