In an apparent change of direction, NASCAR has decided it will not use the aero package from the All-Star Race in any Cup Series points races this season.
NASCAR officials, following extensive discussions among tracks, teams, manufacturers and engine builders, announced Thursday it would not utilize the package in any points races but continue to work toward implementing parts of the package in 2019.
“We had a lot of detailed conversations, but in the end, we all felt like the best thing to do was to put some additional effort into some potential tweaks and focus on 2019 versus a race or two this season,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief development officer, told NASCAR.com.
As recently as earlier this month, 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 those used in the 2014 season first debuted in last year’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 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.
Last month, NASCAR adapted the use of the package in the 80-lap All-Star Race and it produced 38 green-flag passes for the lead, more than four previous years combined.
The Xfinity Series has also used the aero package this season at Pocono Raceway and Michigan and will do so again at IMS.
“One of the clear takeaways is that this is not something you would want to implement at every race track,” O’Donnell told NASCAR.com.
“There are certain race tracks we want to potentially target. Finding the optimal horsepower-to-downforce ratio will be a key focal point to continue to improve the race package.”