Even with the 2010 season winding down, many drivers and teams have already began looking to the 2011 campaign. It's not so much because of the new teams, the new season, and new chances. In essence, it's because it will be another season of change.
Next year, the Nationwide Series will be running their new bigger, and safer, "car of tomorrow" that was run last night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car has been run four times this year, and has received a lot of praise from drivers.
It has also provided nightmares because with the car not being run much before being introduced full-time, there is still a lot of work in learning the new car.
Meanwhile, the Sprint Cup car has already experienced some changes this year in regards to looks. After being introduced in 2007, the former "COT" was equipped with a rear wing. It created chaos for teams and drivers because there was no real way to get rear downforce on the car.
After five races this season, NASCAR decided to go back to tradition and reintroduced the rear spoiler. Drivers and fans alike have approved the new piece because of looks, and feel.
Next season, the spoiler is sticking, but a new change is being introduced.
The other new aspect of this current Cup car is the splitter on the front. As strong as it is, the problem is that because of the braces that are used to support it, if the car wrecks, the braces break. That means a lot more work to make sure the front of the car is supported properly, without having the splitter hit the racing surface.
That won't be the case next year. As was explained earlier this year, the splitter will take on a new look for 2011.
Much like the new Nationwide car, the splitter will not be a separate piece that is bolted to the body. Instead, it is incorporated as part of the body, meaning the braces are gone.
This helps in aerodynamics, but also will assist the pit crews in cleaning off the front grille. No more digging out the grass from around the braces or digging way inside the front of the car. Now, the splitter is self-cleaning.
It will make for some new learning curves in both series, but if there's anything NASCAR has shown, is that the ability to adapt is very important.
Next year, adaptability will be key from the green flag at Daytona to the checkered flag in Homestead.