Indianapolis aero package falls short of expectations

Few positive words were offered when drivers spoke of the high-drag aero package NASCAR put in place for IMS.

Indianapolis aero package falls short of expectations
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It was a far cry from Kentucky.

It was difficult to find anyone very complimentary – whether it be a driver or fans on social media – on the high-drag aerodynamic package which NASCAR debuted in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

I don’t think the draft was much different than last year and the penalty for being behind someone in the corner was more significant.

Brad Keselowski

The low-downforce package which was used at Kentucky Speedway earlier this month received rave reviews from drivers, media and fans.

Aside from some occasional “slingshot” passes, Sunday’s race didn’t look all that different than Brickyards of the past and not at all like the predictions (or hopes) of lots of “pack racing” and drafting.

Not much of a change

“I think everybody put in a lot of effort to really try to make everything a lot better, spent a lot of money, but I don’t know that we accomplished everything that we were looking for,” said Kevin Harvick, who finished third in Sunday’s race.

“This was a huge undertaking for the teams for a huge science project that probably didn’t change that much.

Logano's Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, felt similarly.

“I think we were all expecting there to be more drafting than there was,” he explained. “I don’t think the draft was much different than last year and the penalty for being behind someone in the corner was more significant.”

Is there even a fix for Indianapolis?

Kyle Larson, who finished ninth, wondered whether any aero package could alter the difficulties the track layout of Indy provides.

“The straightaways are just so long,” he said. “Other than that, it was really hard to pass. It was probably tougher to pass this year than last year.”

Race winner Kyle Busch was probably the least critical of the new aero package.

“Once you got back in traffic, it was absolutely so hard to handle in traffic,” Busch said. “You don’t want to feel like every time you go into a corner, you’re going to crash.

“There is something to be learned from today. I don’t think it’s the right combination exactly but I think there are some benefits to it.”

A similar high-drag package is planned for the Michigan race next month.

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