Southern 500 could be next race with new aero and rules package

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Today’s tire test at Darlington Raceway is a step toward a different aero package for the Southern 500, a NASCAR official said Tuesday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth are scheduled to take part in the Goodyear test in preparation for the Sept. 6 race at Darlington.  That race would mark the second this year with a different aero package if officials proceed in that direction.

NASCAR will run a different aero package next week at Kentucky Speedway (on NBCSN). Series officials are looking to increase lead changes and enhance passing.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, confirmed Tuesday on “The Morning Drive” that the Southern 500 could be the next race this season with new aero rules.

“When we talked about Kentucky, we said we wanted to see how that played out and there could be other events in the future that we wanted to look at,’’ O’Donnell said. “I would say that the work being done at Darlington is a potential tire that could match a package we may want to look at. We’re by no means anywhere near a decision yet, but we wanted to be prepared coming out of Kentucky.

“It is something we’re working with the industry on. We’ll see how that goes in Darlington and how things play out in Kentucky as well.’’

NASCAR will reduce downforce on cars at Kentucky. The spoiler will be reduced to 3.5 inches. There will be a 25-inch radiator pan, and the splitter will have 1 3/4 inch less overhang.