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NASCAR To Mandate Changes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ NASCAR will mandate a change in the design of the Car of Tomorrow in an attempt to alleviate the heat that caused foam to melt in several cars last weekend at Martinsville.

Nextel Cup director John Darby said Tuesday night that before the next COT race at Phoenix on April 21, NASCAR will require teams remove a 23 inch by 8 inch block of foam above where the exhaust pipes extend under the right side of the cars, and surround the area with a heat shield.

The idea is to create cooling air flow in the hottest area on the car and cut down on the melting of the foam that gave Matt Kenseth trouble in the COT's first race at Bristol and helped cut short Kevin Harvick's race at Martinsville last weekend.

Harvick was not the only driver whose car had problems with smoke from the melting foam at Martinsville, but it was the only one of the three COT Chevrolets fielded by Richard Childress Racing to have the issue, Darby said. Teams from Hendrick Motorsports and Kenseth's team, Roush Fenway Racing, also reported no problems this week, he said.
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