Spencer Gallagher, driver of the No. 23 for GMS Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, participated in a rookie test session at Richmond Raceway this week. Gallagher and his No. 23 team tested the new flange-fit composite body style that is set to debut at Richmond in September.
NASCAR XFINITY Series teams have the option to use this new body style beginning with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 on Friday, September 8. Currently, teams are using a steel body that is welded to the chassis. The new composite body will be bolted onto the chassis, which allows it to be more easily removed or replaced. The major benefit is it significantly reduces costs and labor compared to the steel body. Also, at-track repair times for teams will be reduced thanks to individual body panels.
“The best thing about these new body styles is a leveling effect on the playing field,” said Gallagher. “There are so many little tricks and tweaks that you can do with the steel bodies that simply won’t be possible with these new composite body styles. I think it’s really going to have an impact where it brings the field together and increases competition.”
“NASCAR’s plan with the new body style was to reduce cost and tampering,” said Joey Cohen, Crew Chief for the No. 23 for GMS Racing. “It levels the competition across the board for the entire series. This body allows us the opportunity to repair cars and turn them around in a faster period of time.”
“It will be very competitive racing at Richmond Raceway,” Gallagher said of the new body style. “Richmond is always a great track to come and race at. It’s three grooves wide so I think the new body style is only going to improve competition.”
The new composite body style will debut later this season at Richmond and will be an option for all tracks except superspeedways in 2018. NASCAR hopes to have the body in competition full-time by the 2019 season.
You can see the new flange-fit composite body style when NASCAR returns to Richmond Raceway for two nights of racing “under the lights” on September 8-9. The fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will see history on display as Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final, career, two-race appearance as a driver.
The weekend gets started on Friday, September 8, with on-track practice for both series and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for both weekend races. The action then dials up as the rising stars of tomorrow compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m., the sport’s best take to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as NASCAR crowns its Regular Season Champion.
Tickets are available now for both races and can be purchased online at richmondraceway.com or by calling the Richmond Ticket Office, toll-free, at 866-455-7223.