After Tyler Reddick won this year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series’ MoneyLion 300 at Talladega Superspeedway – he figured that a year ago, if he’d driven the same track, the same way, he would have lost.
That’s because last year he was driving a steel body car, and this year? NASCAR’s new carbon fiber composite car. So early in the race, when Reddick had a close encounter with the wall, as he told Autoweek: “It hurt the car pretty bad. I’m not sure if the steel body would have handled that as well as the composite.”
His crew chief was sure though. Here’s how Randy Burnett broke it down for Autoweek: “If it were the ol’ steel body, it would have done more damage and hurt us more. … I think the composite bodies are very durable. Same thing when he won the championship last year. He kept hitting the wall at Homestead and you can’t do that with a steel body.
“With the old car, that contact would have destroyed the car and gave a lot more work to do.”
The new car, which is now THE car for all of NASCAR’s XFINITY series races, looks like the old car – but instead of that old steel body riveted and welded together – this car body is assembled from 13 panels that basically snap together, and bolt onto the chassis. As Reddick and Burnett can testify, the composite body is stronger. It’s also lighter, and because it’s assembled in snap on/snap off panels – it’s a lot easier and faster to fix, in case you overdo your Darlington Stripe.