NASCAR announces aero changes for Michigan, Kentucky
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes the green flag at Michigan International Speedway (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
As NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams continue to discover ways of regaining downforce NASCAR took away for 2016, the sanctioning body has decided to, again, take away some downforce through aerodynamic rules changes for upcoming races at Michigan International Speedway on June 12 and Kentucky Speedway on July 9.
“I think we look at it as a never-ending journey,” NASCAR Executive Vice President of Competition and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said, according to NASCAR.com
. “We wanted to go the direction of low downforce, see how that worked, not kind of go all the way in and hope that we are directionally right. And we are seeing that play out. We’ve seen some great racing at the beginning of the year.”
For those two races, rear spoilers and splitters will be smaller. Spoilers will shrink from 65 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall to 53 inches wide and two inches tall. The spoiler size change also will result in a different size rear deck fin. Meanwhile, the width of the ends of front splitters will shrink from five to two inches. Also, a rear toe alignment of zero will be mandated, just as it was in the May 21 running of the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
The latest rules adjustments were tested during a Goodyear tire test at Michigan on May 17. If NASCAR is pleased with the results of the changes at Kentucky and Michigan races, the aero changes may become standard in 2017.
Other recent changes relating to truck arm mounts and fans are in effect for all races for the remainder of the season. Beginning with the recent race at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR mandated that teams weld truck arm mounts. Beginning All-Star Race, the number of fans allowable on race cars was reduced, as it was realized that fans increased downforce.
The rear toe mandate also was in effect for the All-Star Race, but will only be a requirement for the aforementioned races at Michigan and Kentucky.