In addition to radical format changes, it seems the Sprint All-Star Race also will feature some aerodynamic changes, too, according to NASCAR senior vice president Steve O’Donnell.
A Sunday night tweet sent by O’Donnell, who oversees competition as the chief racing development officer for the Sprint Cup Series, indicated there would be tweaks to enhance passing for the May 21 exhibition event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The post was in response to fans who were discussing the impact of aerodynamics on lead changes and NASCAR’s efforts to improve passing.
O’Donnell said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “very, very minor” changes could be announced Monday afternoon.
“It won’t be huge by any means, but it’s a direction we continue to work with the race teams on where we can really work on some efficiencies from the team side and look at corner speeds and side force,” O’Donnell said. “Some minor things we want to take a look at in the All-Star Race vs. the 600, see how that plays out and continue to make adjustments where we can where we all believe it will improve the racing on the track. I have a good feeling about what we’ll be able to pull off. Very, very minor, but some things that I think will add to the race Saturday night.”
Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com reported Friday that teams were expecting different aero rules for Charlotte. Pockrass quoted Joey Logano saying “it seems everything is changing for the race” in regards to the race cars and the format.
Drivers have praised this year’s reduction in downforce for improving the racing this season but publicly have lobbied NASCAR for further cuts. The Sprint Cup Drivers Council also has been discussing the 2017 rules with NASCAR, focusing on a further decrease in downforce.
Last year, NASCAR had explored the concept of rolling out the 2016 rules in the 2015 All-Star Race but jettisoned the idea a month ahead of time.