New car package at Kentucky brings hope for better racing

SPARTA, KY. — When NASCAR introduced its new rules package in the offseason, it was meant to lower power but increase downforce so that speeds would stay similar. The unintended side effect we’ve seen is full throttle racing at 1.5 mile tracks, making for terribly boring events.

The circuit hopes to flip the script on that at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night, experimenting with a different package, decreasing downforce.

The effect of that should be to make the race cars lose grip, forcing drivers to get off the gas more often and hopefully creating a better chance for cars to pass each other.

“It makes it really tough to pass the guy in front of you if he never lets off,” said No. 1 Cessna Chevy driver Jamie McMurray. “How do you ever get beside him? So the thought behind it is, if the guy in front of you had to let off because there’s no downforce and your car’s sliding around, if you’re able to drive a small amount better, maybe you can get beside him and race.”

Will it work? We’ll see, but it at least gives them a shot.


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