NASCAR has proposed a lower downforce package for the July 11 race.
BROOKLYN, Mich. — NASCAR had a teleconference with Sprint Cup teams earlier this week to discuss a lower downforce aero package which could possibly debut as soon as at Kentucky Speedway on July 11th.
Teams would have an open test date on Wednesday July 8th to shake down the cars.
Several sources told motorsport.com that the revised package was tested by the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team and Jimmie Johnson during the Darlington Speedway test on Wednesday. The new configuration would likely include a 3.5-inch spoiler (down from six inches), and 25-inch radiator pan (down from 38 inches) and a shorter splitter. It’s the same package that was expected to be run during the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May but the idea was scrapped.
It’s something that’s everyone’s wanted. Everyone has wanted less downforce and less drag because it would give the drivers more of that horsepower feeling back.
“It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out,” said Joey Logano, who was at the Darlington test. “It’s something that’s everyone’s wanted. Everyone has wanted less downforce and less drag because it would give the drivers more of that horsepower feeling back.
“In theory, this is where we all wanted to go with it. So if it doesn’t work, we don’t have to talk about it any more. It’s obviously a big step to do this in the middle of the season. It’s a big deal. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
Several drivers have complained about the rising corner speeds. Logano acknowledged that the changes will decrease the “on throttle time” which has increased dramatically for the competitors over last year.
“This will give us the opportunity to come off the gas more and slow down through the corners,” Logano added. “But you never know until it happens. I feel like we’ve tried differently things but right now I feel like we’re stuck in the middle.
“Last year we had the big power and right now we’re between both things — it’s like we’re half pregnant. You know (laughs)? You got to go one way or the other. You got to swing the bat — and NASCAR’s looking at swinging the bat, so I think it will be a pretty big deal. But you never know until you swing the bat.”
NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp told Motorsport.com, "NASCAR’s commitment includes putting the best racing on the track. All options remain viable at this time."
From the teams' perspective
Jimmy Makar, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for Joe Gibbs Racing, doesn’t believe the turnover time will be too severe.
“Whatever they come up with, it will be a little bit of work,” Makar said. “But I don’t think it will put anybody that far out. We’re kind of prepared to do those kind of things in a hurry if we have to.
“We haven’t heard anything yet exactly about what it’s going to be, but we’ll be prepared to have everything ready when they tell us to do it. I won’t be that big of a deal. It will make things interesting, though.”