NASCAR will stay the course with 2015 rules package for Chase

Sanctioning body met with competitors to discuss the Chase and plans for 2016.

NASCAR will stay the course with 2015 rules package for Chase

NASCAR met with the Sprint Cup teams at Michigan International Speedway following qualifying on Friday to discuss the plans for the Chase and beyond. 

NASCAR Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told the assembly of drivers, crew chiefs and team owners there will be no changes for this year’s Chase. 

Closing in on 2016 package

The 2016 rules package for the Sprint Cup cars will be determined shortly after the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 6. Darlington will offer NASCAR a second look at the low downforce aerodynamic package — which was initially used at Kentucky Speedway sans the proper tire which would enhance the configuration.

“The goal of the meeting was to discuss what we’ve seen at Michigan so far, also talk about where we’re going for the future as we come out of Michigan to Darlington with that rules package but the specific topic we wanted to cover with the industry was regarding the Chase — and our decision to keep the package as it is for the Chase,” O’Donnell said. “In a lot of discussions we had with the industry — and that includes the tracks, the drivers, the race teams, the OEMs — all believe that was in the best interest of the sport, excited about the Chase, excited about the package and what’s to come in the Chase, especially when you look back to last year.”

Leaving Chase races alone 

O’Donnell says NASCAR and the teams “shared some good dialogue back and forth.” The sanctioning body is “pleased” with what they’ve seen with the 2015 package and given the teams’ current workload, the industry agreed it was in everyone’s best interest to stay the course — for now.

“A lot of work has been done by the race teams already for the final 10 races, so we feel like that’s the best decision for the sport,” O’Donnell said. “I think it’s important to look at what our original plan (to test the different aero packages) was and that was Kentucky, Michigan and Darlington. Then we looked at Indianapolis, too, to apply the Michigan package. So our messaging all along was keeping the Chase where it was with the 2015 rules package.

“And in some of the dialogue, some of the folks wanted to push forward, potentially, but when we looked at all the things that have been done, the preparation that’s been done, the amount of work our industry has put into those races — which we truly appreciate — we think we’re going to have the best racing for the fans with the 2015 package for all 10 races.”

O’Donnell said NASCAR will analyze Sunday’s race and Darlington then talk to its shareholders before making decisions for 2016.

"We feel pretty good about where we may head based on what we'll see on the racetrack and then go in and do some SIM work with our partners directionally on those packages to see if we can fine tune that," O'Donnell said. 

Kenseth comments on aero package after securing Michigan pole

Joe Gibbs Racing had adapted quickly to both the low aero package at Kentucky and the high drag package that was run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and this weekend at Michigan. Kyle Busch won at both Kentucky and Indy while Carl Edwards won the pole for the Brickyard 400. 

Matt Kenseth, who will share the front row for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 with his JGR teammate Denny Hamlin, is open to whatever aerodynamic package provides the best product on the racetrack. 

“We all want what’s best for the fans and NASCAR and everything because that’s what ends up being the best for the sponsors which is best for us. 

“Honestly, our cars have been fast in all three configurations. Kyle has won in all three configurations. We’ve been up front in all three of them — on speed and in the races and in qualifying. So from that aspect, I feel ok about it no matter what they bring. Personally, I like the low-downforce — slowing down for the corners and having to wrestle the car a little bit and drive it and look around for grooves without having all the aero effects of big cars throwing a lot of air off — but personally, that’s just what I like better.

“I really believe with the direction we’re going in right now that we can run and be competitive in all of them," concluded Kenseth.

shares
comments
How sweet it is: Matt Kenseth earns 16th career pole
Previous article

How sweet it is: Matt Kenseth earns 16th career pole

Next article

Harvick displays strong practice pace at Michigan

Harvick displays strong practice pace at Michigan
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021