NASCAR will introduce a new rules package July 11 at Kentucky Speedway, executive vice president Steve O’Donnell announced Tuesday afternoon.
The changes, which were slated to be used at the Sprint All-Star Race in May, will include a shorter spoiler (3.5 inches, down from the current 6 inches), less overhang on the front splitter (down by 1.75 inches), and softer tires (increased grip). Downforce will be reduced overall. Practice time on July 8 will be lengthened for teams to get comfortable with the adjustments.
O’Donnell, who also serves as NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, assured, “We’ve had an extensive testing plan with the industry over the last 19 months. We feel confident and we wouldn’t implement this if we didn’t feel confident as an industry to implement it at Kentucky.”
A rumor about the package surfaced last week, fueled by Lee Spencer’s story on Motorsports.com. The story states the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team used the changes at the Darlington Raceway test.
Although this is currently a one-race deal, O’Donnell expressed interest in using the rule package at other tracks—if it is successful.
“We certainly want to see more lead changes on the race track. We’ll evaluate not only that but a number of different factors coming out of Kentucky and seeing what we can learn and potentially implement down the road.”
He also added that the package is not final or “an abandonment of any rules package.”
Teams and drivers are very open to the idea, yet the executive vice president said the sanctioning body is still looking into making improvements as needed.