NASCAR announces new rules package for upcoming Sprint Cup races

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NASCAR announced Tuesday new aerodynamic packages for upcoming Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Michigan International Speedway.

NBC Sports first reported that NASCAR would make these changes.

NASCAR also announced Tuesday that the September race at Richmond International Raceway will have a new tire but the rules package will remain the same as was run there earlier this year.

At Michigan and Indianapolis, the higher drag package will include a 9-inch spoiler, 1-inch wicker bill, 43-inch radiator pan and a 2-inch splitter leading edge.

The rules package for Darlington will be the same as at Kentucky: – 3.5-inch spoiler, 25-inch radiator pan and the splitter overhang will be 1 3/4 inches less.

At Richmond, teams will use a new tire.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development, would not rule out the possibility of changes for races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR is expected to test a different aero package later this season.

Jeff Gordon said this past weekend, he’s looking forward to the higher drag changes, particularly at Indianapolis.

“I think it’s obvious to all of us that that’s one of the hardest places we have to pass,’’ said Gordon, who took part in a tire test there in April. “We all are in favor of trying a low-downforce package, and we want to try the opposite of that.’’

“If we can get the speeds right, then what it is going to do is create a really massive hole in the air for you to draft up to down the straightaway. Those are long straightaways at both of those tracks. The question is still what is going to happen when you are behind another car through a corner.

“The magic is there, we just have to figure out how to pull it off. It is not just a quick little easy aero fix. Maybe we need to learn how to find more mechanical grip or have more tools to work with. Is it a lower center of gravity? Is it more left-side weight? Is it a lighter overall car? Softer tires? Harder tires? There are a lot of different things that can be thrown out there. I love the fact that we are looking, constantly looking for ways to improve. No different than working to find a way to save the teams money. It is always something that you are constantly working at.”