NASCAR’s Brian France liked Kentucky race but wants to see tighter racing

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NASCAR Chairman Brian France liked what he saw from the racing Saturday night with the lower-downforce package, but admits he wants to see more drafting and pack racing.

France made those comments Monday afternoon on “Sirius Speedway” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The lower downforce package used by Sprint Cup teams at Kentucky Speedway led to a 132 percent increase in the number of green-flag passes from last year’s race. That is just part of how NASCAR grades if its changes are working.

“What we’re really looking for is how tight is the racing?’’ France said. “How many lead changes are there? How much passing through the field is going on? How many more teams are competitive by a given package? What accomplishes those goals the best? That’s how we go about sorting it out.

“We’re going to try some things coming up here at Indy (with a high-drag package). I’ll tell you what we didn’t see that we would like to see more of is more drafting. We didn’t see as much of that as we would have liked and more pack racing. You saw that on the restarts but not quite as much (as we’d prefer). There were a lot of things we liked, definitely an improvement on the races that have happened at Kentucky.’’

France said the race provided the best data possible for NASCAR instead of a test and hinted using races more often to evaluate packages.

“We’re going to continue to do that provided we don’t break the bank for the team owners as we go about it,’’ France told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Our goal, beyond safe racing, which is our first goal, is that close, tight racing where more teams have a shot to win if their talents and hard work take them there.’’

France said that’s what fans want.

“They just expect it,” France said. “I don’t blame them, I expect it. They want tight racing. They want to see close finishes. They want to see multiple leaders. They don’t want to see a certain package that doesn’t provide that. That’s what we’re striving to. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to get right, but we’re working at it everyday.”

NASCAR plans to use a high-drag package later this month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and next month at Michigan International Speedway. The goal for those races is to create drafting and allow for more passing, especially on the long straightaways.”

 

NASCAR will take the same package teams used at Kentucky to the Sept. 6 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The only change is that Goodyear will have a tire specific to that package for that race. It didn’t have a tire specific to the Kentucky change because those adjustments came too late for Goodyear to provide another tire.

Saturday night, Kyle Busch took the lead from Joey Logano with 20 laps to go and went on to earn his second victory in the last three Sprint Cup races. Despite missing the first 11 races after he was injured in a crash at Daytona, Busch is within 87 points of being in the top 30 in points and becoming Chase eligible.

France admits “I’m very impressed by him. His determination is quite amazing.

“I’m rooting for him, but, at the end of the day, this is where the individual drivers and teams have to do it. I’m rooting for him. This is a great story, and I hope he gets there.’’