Car of Tomorrow chassis approval rate going up

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The first NASCAR-approved Car of Tomorrow chassis didn't clear inspection until the final week of the 2006 season, leaving teams with considerable concern that they'd be ill-prepared for the March 25, 2007 debut.

That particular concern has subsided a bit. The COT still has several question marks, but it seems the chassis issue is all but resolved.

Nextel Cup director John Darby said Tuesday that the sanctioning body is closing in on 100 approved COT chassis, and that virtually every team in the series has submitted a viable product.

Even Cal Wells, whose team has currently suspended operations, has submitted an approved COT chassis, Darby said.

NASCAR inspected five COT chassis Monday and all were approved, Darby said, marking the first day they've had a 100-percent approval rate.

Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. He can be reached at ESPNsider@aol.com.