A template is a device used by sanctioning body officials to check the body shape and height of racing vehicles. The template is used to check that teams have manufactured the sheet metal used in the vehicle bodies to within tight tolerances (up to thousandths of an inch).
NASCAR cars are checked before qualifying, before racing, sometimes after a race.
The process of checking car body against templates changed significantly with the Car of Tomorrow (CoT). Before the change, there were different templates applied to each car model to make sure it resembled the factory version of the car. The differing templates frequently caused NASCAR to adjust the templates to ensure that all makes of cars were as aerodynamically equal as possible (called "parity"). There were at least 30 templates used.
All Car of Tomorrow models utilize the same templates, since the CoT is designed to not resemble a specific street car. All makes of cars have the same specifications for their bodies. Instead of a series of templates, a single one-piece template is mounted to the frame by NASCAR officials.
- "NASCAR Glossary T-Z". NASCAR. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- Wilburn, Bill (2 October 2007). "Inside the Halls of Petty: Preparing for COT at 'Dega". NASCAR. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
- Smith, Marty (29 January 2002). "Fords find rule change creates template troubles". NASCAR. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
- Lemasters, Jr., Ron (4 August 2005). "Fusion a step toward 'Car of Tomorrow'". NASCAR. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
- Joe, Pate (3 March 2007). "Inspection process for COT slow and tedious". NASCAR. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
- insiderracingnews.com/JF/010504.html; Article on NASCAR templates; Inaccessible 15 February 2008
- Body article on howstuffworks.com
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