Series to press on with car for 2010

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While many car owners believe the economy isn't strong enough in the Nationwide Series to support the cost of making big changes, NASCAR will push forward with its plans to roll out the Car of Tomorrow next season.

Like the car already in use in the Sprint Cup Series, the new car will be wider and taller to enhance safety.

The car will have a snowplow-like front bumper, but unlike the Cup car and its rear wing, the Nationwide car will have a spoiler.

NASCAR will meet with Nationwide teams on Tuesday to give them details of the car's rollout.The new car will debut at Daytona International Speedway in February and will be used at Daytona, Talladega, Ala., Montreal and Watkins Glen, N.Y.

The current car will be used at the other tracks.

Since the new car is so different, teams won't be able to convert older cars into the next generation model, although Nationwide teams will be able to buy used Car of Tomorrow chassis from Sprint Cup teams.

Those teams said the cost to change their fleets over were as much as $1 million a team.

DANICA NARROWS CHOICES: Danica Patrick apparently has narrowed her driving choices for next year to the Indy Car Series and NASCAR.

At the ESPY Awards last week, she said during a question-and-answer session she has no interest in driving in Formula One.

"I don't want to lead anyone down a path," she said. "It's not in my heart to go there. I've explored Europe before. I particularly like to be here and I like my family and I like my friends and I like my creature comforts of my home country."

Patrick visited several NASCAR race shops last week, including Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing.

Patrick is in the final year of a contract with Andretti Green Racing in the Indy Racing League. She's been exploring all options, including a switch to NASCAR.Most car owners, however, believe she would need to spend at least one year racing in the Nationwide Series to get used to a stock car.

CHITWOOD TO LEAVE post: Less than a month after Tony George was pushed out as CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, track president Joie Chitwood announced he's leaving after Sunday's Allstate 400.

Chitwood will move to Daytona Beach, Fla., to become a vice president with International Speedway Corp.


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