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Automotive

It's tough to keep a secret in the NASCAR garage

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Before NASCAR’s move to common templates and aero matching, drivers used to beat a path to the sanctioning body’s transporter to lobby for their respective car makes.

The late Dale Earnhardt, who would have turned 66 on Saturday, was one of the most ardent proponents of the Chevrolet brand. Whenever he felt Chevy was at a performance disadvantage, he would say so, and sometimes his complaints would result in changes to the cars.

With uniform rules for all cars today, however, crew chiefs now look to other teams and other car makes to overcome deficiencies in performance. With garage stalls in close proximity and photographers making the rounds, it’s difficult to keep a secret for long.

“It’s happened forever,” Denny Hamlin said of the cyclical nature of the sport. “NASCAR used to fix that. They used to cut spoilers off of certain makes and models to help them. Then they would help another manufacturer when they were behind. It’s just been an evolution. It’s because, obviously, we’re sitting in garage stalls six feet from each other.

“Someone’s running faster—you can just eventually find enough pictures out there to figure out why you’re slow. Then you go to work. Sometimes, while you’re doing that work, you hit on something that makes you even better than them. You’re faster, they’re checking out your stuff. It’s a cycle. That’s what racing is. It’s just a matter of who hits it at the right time and really has the luck to go with it that makes you a champion.”
 



By Reid Spencer NASCAR Wire Service

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