EVP Steve O'Donnell reflects on Sunday snoozer at Michigan
When it came to the use of the “high-drag” aerodynamic package in Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR’s view appears much in line with most observers of the race.
“Certainly we would have liked to have seen some more out of the race package,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday morning.
“We’ve said repeatedly with each and every package we’ve put together, we want to look at the ability to pass throughout the field and the ability to have multiple lead changes at the front and we didn’t get that on Sunday.”
Matt Kenseth dominated the field in Sunday’s race for his third Sprint Cup Series win of the season but the racing itself lacked any real drama except briefly after restarts. The expectations of “pack racing” and “more passing” never played out.
O’Donnell said the sanctioning body will turn its attention now to another use of the low-downforce package in the upcoming race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. That package – preferred by drivers – debuted last month at Kentucky with positive reviews.
“We’ll look at the data that we can gather from the race but also talk to the industry, see what they felt about the package and how the cars performed,” he said. “You still have some ability to pass in the middle of the field and the ability to pull up, but certainly the challenge of the leader getting away way out front was one we all see and the fans see as well.
“We’ll look at that and what we can do to continue to get after it and improve the racing and make progress in that area.”