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NASCAR Cup: short track, road course aero package tweaked

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – AUGUST 17: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, leads the field into turn one at the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 17, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR has announced aerodynamic rules changes for 2020 NASCAR Cup Series races at short tracks and road courses, aimed at reducing downforce. The changes affect Cup races at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Phoenix Raceway, Richmond (Va.) Raceway, the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The changes come ahead of the introduction of the next generation Cup Series race car, expected to debut for competition in 2021.

“Our first and foremost core goal is to deliver great racing, and I think that we constantly evaluate the things that we do on the race track, however and wherever we need to, to improve that situation for them,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development John Probst said. “And as part of our normal ongoing critique of ourselves and how we’re doing, we just felt like this was a good opportunity for us to improve the on-track product at the short tracks and road courses.”

The changes include a much smaller spoiler, decreasing in height from eight inches to two-and-three-quarters inches. The front splitter for races at the aforementioned tracks also will be smaller. the overhang will be a quarter-inch, down from two inches, and have two-inch wings, down from 10.5 inches. Also, the vertical fencing will be removed from the radiator pan.

“Certainly from our standpoint, we feel like this is a step in the right direction to create more side-by-side, exciting moments during the race,” Probst said. “Obviously, the proof will be in the pudding, but this is, certainly, something that we have run before that’s had good results.”

With the changes, NASCAR officials hope downforce numbers will return to those seen in 2017 and 2018.

“When we consider changes to the aero package, we often can look back on our playbook, if you will, from seasons past,” Probst said. “And there’s, obviously, some trade-offs that you make between introducing something completely new that the industry has never seen, versus something that we have run before where we have a playbook from our side and (teams) have setup books from their end. We felt like we were going to look at aero packages that we have run in the past, and looking back at a lot of competitive metrics that we track, we feel like the 2017 levels of downforce on those types of tracks had pretty good side-by-side racing that our fans enjoyed.

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Posted by on January 16, 2020. 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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