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NASCAR Cup: experimental aero package put on hold for 2018

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 19: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Ford, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #19 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR revealed Thursday that it has scrapped plans to run its experimental aerodynamic package, debuted in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in May at the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, in a few Cup Series points-paying races in 2018. Instead, the focus has shifted to 2019 and tweaks to the package to improve it for possible use next year. According to a NASCAR.com article, one of the tweaks being considered is a tapered spacer instead of the restrictor plate.

“Everyone is aligned on doing what’s best for the fans,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told NASCAR.com. “As we went through that process of discussing (the package) following the All-Star Race, we all realized we have something that could work. 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.”

The aero package that includes a restrictor plate, aero ducts and taller spoiler has been used in three NASCAR Xfinity Series points-paying races — last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and this season at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. After its use in the All-Star Race, NASCAR hinted at using the package at one to three Cup Series points-paying races throughout the remainder of 2018 with the aim of bunching up race fields and increasing passing. Tracks, reportedly, being considered for use of the package included Indianapolis, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and return trips to Michigan and Pocono.

Austin Dillon had a positive review of the package after winning the rain-shortened Xfinity Series race at Michigan earlier this month.

“I think there’s a lot of driver skill left in it, truthfully,” Dillon said. “Just making the right moves, it’s a real chess match out there, and putting yourself in a good position is very key.”

Brad Keselowski, though, warned against using the experimental package too much, claiming it takes too much control out of the drivers’ hands, and as a result, would deter the best drivers from looking at NASCAR as an option for showcasing their talents.

“I think there are a lot of fans that come to our races expecting to see the best drivers,” Keselowski said. “I think if you put a package like this out there, like we had at the All-Star race, on a consistent basis that the best drivers in the world will no longer go to NASCAR. They will pick a different sport. That won’t happen overnight. It would happen over time and be a tragedy to the sport. They want to go where they can make the biggest difference to their performance, and there is, no doubt, that the driver makes less of a difference with that rules package.”

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Posted by on June 22, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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