Local News

Spoiler Debate Heating Up

Posted May 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Part two of the big Memorial Day Weekend of racing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway finds Jeff Gordon on the point for the Coca Cola 600. Last Saturday night Gordon's Chevy dominated the all-star race. Ford drivers lobbied NASCAR for and received, extra spoiler height. The spoiler makes the race cars more stable, and NASCAR has made several changes in spoiler height the past two seasons to make the cars more competitive. But now the great spoiler debate is wearing thin.

When you get right down to it, it's just a piece of metal. So why is spoiler the NASCAR buzz word of the week? In a nutshell, Ford thinks Chevy has an unfair advantage because of the spoiler size and the down force it creates. Chevy thinks the same of Ford, so gentlemen start your whining:

Mark Martin wishes everyone had a certain spoiler size, and that's the way it would be. Then, if a driver's car still didn't work, he would have to find someone to build a better car or go build it himself.

Jeff Gordon's Chevy has been the favorite target of the Ford drivers. After all, if Gordon is winning all of these races, it has to be because of the spoiler, right?

Jeff Gordon doesn't think so. He doesn't think down force or horsepower has anything to do with it. He says the numbers tell the story themselves. Gordon says he's not going to join the group of complainers. He's just going to race hard.

Dale Jarrett is tired of the debate too. He says when it comes to Gordon, the fair thing to do is to get his 24 car in the wind tunnel. Jarrett wonders how he could've won 16 to 18 races without already being required to enter the wind tunnel.

WRAL's Jim Noble doesn't intend to bogg you readers down with all of the technical mumbo-jumbo. The fact of the matter is, the cars will never be alike, and that's what's driving all of the crew members nuts.

Crew Chief Todd Parrott seconds that opinion. He says as long as we are all alive, there's going to be complaining. There will always be someone with an advantage.

Ricky Rudd says folks in the shop are sick and tired of hearing about spoilers. Rudd doesn't bring up the word for fear his men will walk out and quit.

So when will NASCAR stop "spoiling" all of the fun? Your guess is good as ours.

Jim Noble reporting