Rule Change Annoucement

NASCAR announces rule change DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 1998) NASCAR officials announced Tuesday that modifications to the rear spoiler will go into effect on both the Ford Taurus and Ford Thunderbird beginning with this weekend's ...

NASCAR announces rule change

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 1998) NASCAR officials announced Tuesday that modifications to the rear spoiler will go into effect on both the Ford Taurus and Ford Thunderbird beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup Series TranSouth Financial 400 at Darlington Raceway.

The width of the rear spoiler on both the Ford Taurus and Ford Thunderbird will be narrowed by two inches from 57 inches to 55 inches. The rule change is a result of a wind tunnel test done at Lockheed Aviation in Marietta, Ga., last Tuesday.

"A two-inch reduction makes it sound larger than the one we did for Atlanta, but actually it's smaller," NASCAR spokesman Jeff Motley said. "A lot of people will look at it as a big chop into the spoiler, when really, it's not. We're calling it a minor tweak. We actually took away less of the spoiler than we did the first time."

Prior to the March 1 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the total square inches of the rear spoiler of the Fords was 285. At Atlanta Motor Speedway a little less than two weeks ago, after the first modification, it was 270.75. The quarter-inch reduction in the spoiler height (from 5 to 4.75 inches) was a five percent overall reduction. At Darlington, the total number of square inches for the Fords' spoiler will be 261.25, a 3.5 percent reduction from Atlanta.

The Las Vegas 400 saw Fords finish in the top-seven positions, and 13 Tauruses finished in the top-15 overall. The top Chevrolet driver was Dale Earnhardt, in eighth.

At Atlanta, eight Fords finished in the top-10 to go along with two Pontiacs, including the winner, Bobby Labonte.

"We (NASCAR) figured this was the best way to even up the playing field," Motley said. "What we found in the wind tunnel was that the downforce was pretty much the same across the board, but the difference came in the drag. By taking two inches off the width of the spoiler, that will affect the drag of the Fords and even things up."

The Ford Taurus will continue to maintain a 4.75-inch rear spoiler height and the Thunderbird will maintain a 4.50-inch rear spoiler height. Both Ford makes will continue to maintain a 5.00-inch front air dam clearance.

Chevrolet will continue with a 5.00-inch rear spoiler at 57 inches in width and the Pontiacs will continue to use a 5.375-inch rear spoiler at 57 inches in width. Front air dam clearances will remain at 5.00 inches for the Monte Carlo and 4.625 inches for the Pontiac Grand Prix.

These spoiler heights will be in effect for all NASCAR Winston Cup races except for events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR will continue to evaluate these changes, but they will remain in effect until further notice.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte