“It was important to get the final pieces of the rules package to teams as quickly as possible following the final tests last week,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. “Throughout the process, we gained valuable data that informed many of the changes for 2014. This data will prove useful as we continue to evolve the racing product into the future.”
Changes to the package include statically setting the race car ride height and eliminating the pre- and post-race front height rules and inspections. Additionally, the 2014 package includes a square leading edge on the splitter, side skirt and rear fascia adjustments and an eight-inch rear spoiler. Finally, a 43-inch by 13-inch radiator pan will round out changes for 2014.
“We looked at a number of important factors when finalizing what the 2014 version of the race package will look like,” Stefanyshyn said. “The Gen-6 car has been a great asset to our sport. As we continue to improve and develop the racing product, we’ll rely significantly on the critical data that has been generated by the entire industry over the last several weeks. We’re extremely appreciative of those efforts.”
The first race featuring the new package will be at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2. This package will not be utilized for restrictor-plate races, including the 2014 Daytona 500 on Feb. 23.
During the course of a press conference, Stefanyshyn admitted that the timing of this new rule package was somewhat intense adding: I think it’s important to set the expectations here. We did this very late. We’re here in the middle of December running these tests, and we have to get things out for, obviously, the ’14 race season. So the things or the dials or the things we could do for the ’14 race season were somewhat limited on by timing. So it shouldn’t be construed that this is the final solution. The amount of flexibility we had given timing was not as great as we have say working on the ’15 season.”
He also described the 2014 competition package as being the first phase of continuous improvements adding: “I feel very proud to be part of the NASCAR organization. I think the Gen-6 car is a wonderful step forward. We’ve raced it for a year. Now we’re starting to collect a lot of data and beginning to take the car to the next level. So this is all about a journey of continuous improvement, and continuing to make it better year after year after year.”