Keselowski believes updated Cup package has "tremendous potential"
As NASCAR continues to tweak the aero package for Sprint Cup teams, 2012 NSCS champion Brad Keselowski believes that they are moving in a very positive direction.
So let's call it the newer version of the new low-downforce aero package. Ahead of the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR set out to remove even more downforce from the cars. Although the format for the annual exhibition race was heavily criticized, the racing itself was praised.
"I am 100-percent of the belief that the All-Star rules package, as it pertains to some of the really technical items that control the skew on the car, should immediately be implemented everywhere," said Keselowski.
Compare and contrast
In a unique situation, NASCAR got to compare two different packages in two different races, all at the same track -- And within eight days of each other. The popular opinion coming out of the Coca-Cola 600 regarding the racing was completely flipped from the week prior. Lackluckster, monotonous and dull were all commonly used adjectives.
The upcoming races at Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway will both utilize a polished version of the all-star package and will be crucial in deciding the future of the package. The following alterations listed by NASCAR:
Reduce skew generated side-force by setting rear toe to zero (same rule used in All-Star race)
Aero package tweaks to reduce aero generated downforce and sideforce
Spoiler shortened from 3.5 inches to 2.5 inches
Splitter reduced to 2 inches
Resize of deck fin to match spoiler
The reduced skew is something Brad is adamant about, stating, "Those rules updates are meant to take aerodynamic performance away from the car. That is exactly what the skew does. It adds five or 10-percent aero potential in the car and in doing so, dramatically increases the wake behind the car when you have more skew, and taking it out reduces the wake. It is kind of similar between the difference between following a car on the freeway and following a truck. That is the easiest explanation.
"The difference I felt between the two races was that the aerodynamic weight that you can’t see, because it is air, was smaller and more forgiving in the All-Star race and I think that is why you saw the racing you did in that race and not so much in the 600."
Looking forward towards Michigan package
As for the kind of 400 mile event we'll see at MIS later this month, the Team Penske driver expects it to be "really interesting." Last year's race went the opposite direction with a high-drag package. It wasn't a show to remembered, to put it politely.
"I heard the top speeds were really, really fast but the corner speeds were down which I think should provide a really good platform for side-by-side racing and opening opportunities to pass. I think we are all really encouraged by that. It is a huge variable for our teams that they we all work through.
"I think it has a tremendous potential to be the future direction for our sport," he added. "That is really interesting and exciting to me personally. As far as how it is going to play out, you don’t know. It is really unknown. That always seems to make for our best racing when we don’t know what will happen. I think it will be a really good race. The interesting thing is last year we went the opposite way with the rules there and most of the garage felt it was one of the worst races of the year. On the other side, we feel like this will be one of the best races of the year.”
While the package is obviously a significant factor in how the race will play out, Goodyear has a very important as well. They have scheduled a plethora of tire tests this year as they search for the perfect compound for each track. Eight have been held this year and a ninth at Kentucky Speedway will take place in July.
Brad Keselowski heads Penske 1-2 in Pocono qualifying
Busch brothers top final Sprint Cup practice at Pocono