Since Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, NASCAR officials have said that they’ll take opinions into consideration when deciding what rules package(s) would be utilized in 2016.
Darlington was the second of two races that included a low-downforce rules package that was also raced at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in July. To refresh your memory, a higher-downforce package was raced previously at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the aero package for 2016 is some kind of hybrid of those two packages with a dash of the regular 2015 package thrown in. But I think NASCAR should lean heavily toward the low-downforce package we saw at Darlington and Kentucky.
The regular 2015 package has been less than stellar, in my opinion. Sure, the number of passes may be up deep in the field, but up front, the racing through most of this season has been somewhat boring. And that high-drag package at Indy and MIS sure didn’t help matters any.
At Kentucky, though, the racing was better, and that was with a tire that wasn’t suited for the package. Actually, critics credited that with the improved racing. But then there’s Darlington, with the low-drag package paired with the softer tire NASCAR was wanting to go with the package.
All the nostalgia of the throwback paint schemes, uniforms and race coverage aside, this year’s Southern 500 was, perhaps, one of the best races I’ve seen in quite some time.
At least a couple of drivers seem to agree.
“I don’t think I can get in trouble for how much I liked it, but I loved it. This is as good as it gets,” Carl Edwards said.
Yeah, yeah, Edwards won the race, so of course, he’s going to be happy. So, here’s another verdict from Denny Hamlin:
“It’s the package we need to run from now on. It’s unbelievable how much tire fall off there is. You’re sliding around. There’s more wrecks, which is unusual, but it’s a good thing, because guys are messing up. That happens every now and then in racing. It’s a lot of fun from our perspective, and it’s something that we can look forward to.”
After listening to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio throughout the day today, I’m thinking this low-downforce package is popular with the fans. So, from what I gather, fans and drivers alike are fond of this low-drag package. I’m guessing the new Drivers’ Council will give a positive review whenever it meets again.
I think that’s a good sign for this package as NASCAR looks ahead to and plans for 2016. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, anyway.
What do you think of the low-drag package? Take an online poll, here.
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