NASCAR exploring more rules changes beyond Kentucky

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The debut of a lower-downforce package next week at Kentucky Speedway could be just the beginning of a bevy of rules tinkering in the Sprint Cup Series this season.

On a conference call with manufacturers and teams Saturday afternoon, NASCAR outlined potential changes that could be employed at more races this season, including during the Chase for the Sprint Cup, multiple sources told NASCAR Talk.

A Goodyear test scheduled for July 13 at Chicagoland Speedway will include trying the lower-downforce package that will make its debut for the July 11 race at Kentucky. NASCAR hasn’t committed to any other races that will feature the new package, but it tested the same setup Tuesday at Darlington Raceway and is considering it for the Southern 500 on Sept. 6.

No decision has been made on if the package would be used for the Sept. 20 race at Chicagoland, which will be the opener of the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Teams also have been told to prepare for possibly using a high-drag package for the July 26 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Aug. 16 event at Michigan International Speedway. Those races would feature a taller spoiler with wickers, lower rear-bumper extensions and a wider radiator pan.

Teams would be given extra practice time for the Darlington, Michigan and Indianapolis races if the changes were implemented. Next week at Kentucky, four hours of practice were added in two Wednesday sessions.

NASCAR also has requested teams to bring the current rules package to Kentucky as a backup. Some teams have expressed concern because the lower-downforce package hasn’t been tested with the current tire.

Goodyear tested a tire with the lower-downforce package last week at Darlington and was pleased with the results.