Sprint Cup drivers having to adjust to larger spoiler at Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS – The larger spoiler teams are using this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is causing visibility issues for some NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers.

As part of the high-drag aero package intended to enhance passing at a track where passing has been difficult for drivers in previous years, NASCAR has teams running a 9-inch spoiler with a 1-inch wicker bill on it. Part of the spoiler is clear, giving drivers a gap to look through in the rearview mirror, but Joey Logano said he’d like to have had more clear space to look through via his rearview mirror.

“It’s challenging to see,’’ Logano said Friday. “You have a small gap where the spoiler is clear and you can see out of that, and then obviously the wicker (which is not clear) is on top of that, so it’s kind of hard. You only get a certain amount, but I think I can see about five car lengths behind me and any cars that are further back than that I can’t see.

“That isn’t the end of the world. If they’re five car lengths back, you’re probably not too worried about it anyway. When they get close is when you want to see it, but it is nice sometimes because we don’t know.  We’ll see with this whole drafting package down the straightaway when that run is going to start.’’

Denny Hamlin described his vision through the spoiler as “OK.”

“I wish the wicker was clear,’’ Hamlin said. “I was actually surprised I could see more than I thought I was going to be able to see but still would like to see a little bit more clear. Other than that, it’s fine.’’

Kasey Kahne said he can “see enough. It’s not quite as good as it has been this year, but it’s no worse than what it was not long ago, so it’s not bad.’’

With the visibility limited, drivers will rely more on spotters this weekend.

“I feel like we’ll be able to communicate where the runs are coming from, and then, as they get closer, I should be able to see it in the mirror. You’re going to have to block. You’re going to have to make some big moves, especially on these restarts when cars are side-by-side off the corners.”