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NASCAR NOTES: New Gen6 car gives teams a chance to start over

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR
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(RNN) - NASCAR teams are a competitive group. They spend lots of money trying to gain a few tenths of a second advantage over their competition. However, the new Gen 6 race car has leveled the playing field and given many teams a chance at a fresh start.

Richard Childress Racing and Richard Petty Racing are two teams looking to take advantage of the opportunity.

After one of its most disappointing seasons in recent years, RCR failed to live up to its preseason expectations. Its No. 29 team was supposed to be the leading contender for the championship but, only managed one win and that came late in the season. The new car gives renewed hope of turning things around.

"A lot of effort has gone into the new car for us," said driver Kevin Harvick about his 29 team. "We're racing as hard as we can and doing everything we can do to win races and championships."

Teammate Jeff Burton believes the new car came at just the right time.

"I think the timing of that is good for RCR in general," said Burton at the Daytona test. "Whether that will yield results or not, we will see. I think the timing of it is good for us."

The other team that is taking an early advantage of the new car is Richard Petty Motorsports.

After several struggling seasons, the RPM drivers began to show some promise at the end of the 2012 season. However, they still had a lot of catching up to do in order to be competitive again. The new car seems to have given them that chance.

Marcos Ambrose's No. 9 team was at the top of the charts at Daytona until an accident sent them home early, but the results were very encouraging for his team.

"We've got a little bit of a foundation built from next year," commented Ambrose on his team's outlook for 2013. "We've got some work to do, but I feel optimistic about the future and I'm looking forward to 2013."

Not to be outdone, teammate Aric Almirola also topped the speed chart at the Charlotte test last week.

"I'm excited about next year," said Almirola, who finished 20th in points. "Todd Parrott and all those guys give me great race cars, so we're going to win races."

With winter testing winding down and Daytona Speedweeks in the near future, both RCR and RPM have plenty to look forward to. If they can continue to move forward, this could be a breakout season for both and the new Gen6 car will have a lot to do with their success.

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