NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
28 Feb
Event finished
R
Las Vegas
07 Mar
Race in
3 days
R
Phoenix
14 Mar
Race in
10 days
R
Atlanta
21 Mar
Next event in
16 days
28 Mar
Next event in
23 days
R
Martinsville
10 Apr
Next event in
36 days
R
Richmond
18 Apr
Next event in
44 days
R
Talladega
25 Apr
Next event in
51 days
R
02 May
Next event in
58 days
R
Darlington
09 May
Next event in
65 days
R
16 May
Next event in
72 days
23 May
Next event in
79 days
R
Charlotte
30 May
Next event in
86 days
R
06 Jun
Next event in
93 days
R
13 Jun
Next event in
100 days
R
Nashville
20 Jun
Next event in
107 days
R
Pocono I
26 Jun
Next event in
113 days
R
Pocono II
27 Jun
Next event in
114 days
R
Road America
04 Jul
Next event in
121 days
R
Atlanta II
11 Jul
Next event in
128 days
R
New Hampshire
18 Jul
Next event in
135 days
R
Watkins Glen
08 Aug
Next event in
156 days
R
Indianapolis
15 Aug
Next event in
163 days
R
Michigan
22 Aug
Next event in
170 days
R
Daytona II
28 Aug
Next event in
176 days
R
Darlington II
05 Sep
Next event in
184 days
R
Richmond II
11 Sep
Next event in
190 days
R
Bristol II
18 Sep
Next event in
197 days
R
Las Vegas II
26 Sep
Next event in
205 days
R
Talladega II
03 Oct
Next event in
212 days
R
Charlotte II
10 Oct
Next event in
219 days
R
Texas II
17 Oct
Next event in
226 days
R
Kansas II
24 Oct
Next event in
233 days
R
Martinsville II
31 Oct
Next event in
240 days
R
Phoenix II
07 Nov
Next event in
247 days

Keselowski: Low downforce package still far from its potential

While generally fans and drivers agree the quality of racing has improved this season in the Sprint Cup Series, former series champion Brad Keselowski believes the full potential of the low downforce package has yet to be achieved.

Keselowski: Low downforce package still far from its potential
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Start: Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota leads
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

"The 2016 package was supposed to be about lower downforce and softer tires and we've gone through about three or four races now where the tires have been harder," Keselowski said in an interview at Team Penske headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.

"I think that's showing its way into the racing package.

"As for the reason why? I couldn't really answer that. It's probably a better question for Goodyear but I'm not sure they could answer right now. It certainly has hindered the capability of the rules package to put on less aero-dependent racing."

Following last weekend's Kansas race, several drivers and crew chiefs noted a lack of tire fall-off, particularly when compared to other races this season.

Tire fall-off is generally a necessary component to help increase passing throughout the field.

In fact, in some races this season, teams have been forced to pit for new tires before the end of a scheduled fuel-run, something that was far more common many years ago.

Keselowski admitted there could be a different outcome with the same tire in the fall race at Kansas when the race is run entirely during the day, but he says evidence suggests a bigger issue.

"If Kansas was the only example, I would lean towards that, but at least four of the 11 races have shown it," he said. "You can still have a great race and not live up to the potential of the rules package."

Asked if the series has come close to realizing the full potential of the new rules package, Keselowski was adamant: "No. We've had a few races that have been closer. I think Richmond showed some potential.

"Talladega is an example of where it was supposed to be the same tire and it ended up being a harder tire. We saw a lot of accidents. It was a large contributor, which no one really documented at the time because they didn't have access to the information."

Several drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., noted immediately after the race that they thought the threat of rain – which hovered over the track virtually the entire race – may have contributed to the aggressiveness of drivers, and thus some of the accidents.

Talladega and Martinsville are prime examples, Keselowski said, of the same tires brought back to the track by Goodyear as last season, but teams seeing a different result in their performance.

Cars had a different rules package on them at Martinsville from last year, but the superspeedway rules package remained the same as last year at Talladega.

Keselowski said data available and examined after the races by teams has confirmed the change.

"It really is the biggest unseen piece (of the puzzle) this season," he said.

 

shares
comments
Is NASCAR's lug nut debate over? Not quite...

Previous article

Is NASCAR's lug nut debate over? Not quite...

Next article

RCR throws back to the early 1980s with Darlington schemes

RCR throws back to the early 1980s with Darlington schemes
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brad Keselowski
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020