Kevin Harvick agrees with NASCAR’s decision to postpone the use of the All-Star Race aero rules until next season and said “it’s really about money.”
“I think that’s a very good decision,” Harvick said Friday at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. “I think as you look at all the logistics of trying to do this, it’s like putting your house up for sale. Most likely, you’re not going to sell it the next day and have the money in the bank.
“It takes time to put your house up for sale, get the loan paid off and find somewhere new to live. So, that’s just a small example of something that’s real life.
“When you look at these teams and the things that have already been laid out, money that has already been spent on research and development, I think we could make that package better than it was at the All-Star Race. In order to do that, you have to have a well laid out plan so you don’t just jump into something and have to change something else.”
NASCAR officials, following extensive discussions among tracks, teams, manufacturers and engine builders, announced Thursday it would not utilize the package in any points races this season but continue to work toward implementing parts of the package in 2019.
As recently as earlier this month, NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell said in an interview with Fox Sports 1 that the goal was to look “at one or two or possibly three events where we could really evaluate this for 2018.”
Races at Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway were most often mentioned as possible events where the package could be used.
The package, which includes front air ducts, restrictor-plates, a larger rear spoiler and splitter that was used in the 2014 season, first debuted in last year’s Xfinity Series race at IMS last season to mostly rave reviews. The package produced the most lead changes and different leaders in the history of the event at the track.
Strong showing at Charlotte
In May’s All-Star Race, the package produced more green-flag passes for the lead than in the previous four events combined.
The success of the package put NASCAR in an awkward spot – how to capitalize on the excitement and momentum the race produced but also take into consideration teams have already budgeted and allocated resources for this season under a different rules package.
“If you started the season with a plan to do this, the teams can take their budget and be prepared. And NASCAR would be in the same boat. There are going to be some things on the inspection side of things that nobody has thought of,” Harvick said.
“You have playoffs in 10 weeks, it would just be a massive, massive undertaking for the sport that could be right or could be wrong because you haven’t run a full race and you don’t know for sure.
“We had just a great All-Star Race and a lot of positive momentum and let’s just make sure that the next time it’s on the track it’s as good, if not better than it was at the All-Star Race.”
Harvick admits there is no way to get a better indication of how the aero package will perform other than to run it in actual race decisions.
“But, it still costs money,” he said. “It’s real easy to say we should do this. But that’s real money. This is real-world stuff. Everybody agreed to go to the All-Star Race and do something different and see how it goes and everybody liked the outcome.
“But that was play money compared to the money it would take to do it real-life because I don’t consider the All-Star Race real life. Real life is a points-paying race where everybody would show up and go to the wind tunnel, spend time working on their cars, making sure they are making downforce, the engine guys will try to make more horsepower.
“That’s what you want to see everybody at the race track with.”