Confession time: I have not been an active NASCAR fan in more than 20 years. But I am definitely a fan of the cars' outright speed, power and the bravery needed to take one to victory over near-identical others on the grid.
This extremely homogenized approach to racing rules is epitomized outside by what NASCAR calls the "Car of Tomorrow" bodyshell. It makes all the cars the exact same shape, excluding stickers.
This seems like a huge error in judgment versus what fans want to see: actual rivalries among not just drivers, but the car manufacturers' racing technology and expertise.
I promise you: I am not a total NASCAR hater. But the idea of one bodyshell for any racing series smacks of a complete failure of judgment across the board. It mostly smacks of dumb people making dumb choices - generally one of their favorite activities.
NASCAR has well-earned its reputation for being a dumb-person's delight for all these types of dumb management decisions over the years.
No wonder it is losing fans rapidly every year since the Car of Tomorrow debuted. Shocker!
Fans would prefer something like this race-prepped GT350...
The cars are so similar that now they need the "Camry" and "Fusion" names on the front bumpers. Absurd, NASCAR. A shame and a waste of money, it seems as an outsider, for any OEM to be a part of this pretend racing series. Sure, driver rivalries are good. But at what cost? The entire appeal of racing? Okay!
So when Ford tried to break the deadlock by submitting the Mustang to the Sprint Cup rule bodies in 2013, it is little surprise that the head-office NASCAR geniuses declined the bodystyle change versus the Fusion.
So the Mustang headed to the Nationwide series that runs on Saturdays - the old Busch League. (Sprint Cup replaced Winston Cup a few years ago, for those who also could generally care less about NASCAR.)
But what ended up on the Nationwide series is a far cry from anyone's ideal Mustang design. Ick. Ick. Ick. That design is so hideous that the Mustang name-change cannot save even the Mustang's brand equity. What a joke.
But while it is easy to see how idiotic the Car of Tomorrow idea is for throwing out any semblance of authentic manufacturer skill in the designs of the cars, it is just as easy to be entranced by a NASCAR Mustang that is, in fact, nearly as good-looking as its namesake.
This CMS Mustang prototype racer looks amazing. It is run as a demo car for the Charlotte Motor Speedway staff, which is a damn shame of a small stage versus the real thing.
Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR Mustang Prototype