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“Most Cheated Up Race Car”—Dirt Fanatic Tony Stewart Unearths NASCAR Gamechanger That Revolutionized Late Model Racing

Published 05/01/2023, 2:39 PM EDT

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Motorsports has consistently been a driving force for innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to enhance the racing experience. Teams and manufacturers relentlessly pursue advancements in engineering, materials, and design to gain a competitive edge on the track.

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Moreover, in contemporary NASCAR racing, aerodynamics has become a crucial factor influencing vehicle performance. The study of airflow around and within race cars has contributed to enhanced speed, stability, and fuel efficiency, making the sport even more exhilarating and demanding as a result.

Emphasizing this point, former NASCAR driver and dirt racing fanatic, Tony Stewart, recently shed light on the groundbreaking impact of this technology being brought into the Late Model racing scene. Stewart discussed this transformative development during a conversation with Kenny Wallace.


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Tony Stewart shares what revolutionized Late model racing

During the conversation, the SHR co-owner mentioned, “You know, the prices are getting higher and higher and higher short Track racing, which is great. That has to. The technology in the dirt late models is way out of control now. I mean, Kevin Rumley is the guy that really started revolutionizing modern late models now to where they’re at.

“He is taught these guys. You know our world we learned about downforce. We didn’t think anything about side force. And then when we learned about side force, it was a game changer in NASCAR racing. Now they brought that technology to dirt late-model racing.


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“So it really shows how the technology has changed in the dirt late model…  Sprint cars are the same way, always have been because of the big wings on top. Winged Sprint car, dirt late-models, and even the modifieds now.

“I was watching the broadcast, watching Kyle Larson went in Justin Allgaier’s car. I looked at that thing and I’m like, ‘Man! 15 years ago, that would have been the most cheated-up race car you’ve ever seen in your life.’ But it was brilliant. I’m looking at him like that was that was done really nice.”


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Stewart feels the new late-model cars are air dependent

During the same conversation, Stewart also touched upon the increasing reliance on aerodynamics in late-model cars. He pointed out that incorporating aerodynamics has significantly enhanced the performance in such racing styles.

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Stewart stated, “I remember watching Jonathan Davenport at the World 100, got the lead, and was driving off in the field. He caught the back of the pack and couldn’t pass the last-place car. It was so air dependent that it was no different than what we complained about as drivers in the Cup series. And what you see in IndyCar and Formula One about being air dependent.”


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In one way or another, the integration of aerodynamics into late-model racing has undoubtedly elevated the competition. However, relying on aero for executing moves can create challenges in critical situations. Despite this, the element of unpredictability persists, ultimately making the racing experience even more captivating.



Srijan Mandal

1061 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. With a Master's Degree in Journalism from a top institution, Srijan has written over 1000 articles across various platforms. His passion for racing began at a young age and has only grown stronger over time.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal