NASCAR announces changes to reduce downforce at Sprint All-Star Race

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In a Monday morning post on NASCAR.com, aerodynamic changes were announced for Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR senior vice president of innovation and racing development Gene Stefanyshyn told NASCAR.com that there will be tweaks in three areas: the truck trailing arm, a limit on cooling fans and the toe alignment of the rear wheels.

Sprint Cup teams have been required to weld truck trailing arm mounting brackets since the May 7 race at Kansas Speedway, and that rule will remain in effect through the rest of the 2016 season. The change limits how cars can move.

Stefanyshyn told NASCAR.com that fans were creating more downforce, and that preventing teams from having too many would reduce the aerodynamic impact and save costs.

Stefanyshyn said the toe alignment changes would prevent teams from using “skew” to slant the cars and gain sideforce. It also should cause a 3 mph decrease in Charlotte corner speeds, which some drivers have lobbied for reducing.

NASCAR reduced downforce by 900 pounds with its 2016 rules package, Stefanyshyn said. He estimated teams have regained about 100 to 200 pounds since the season began.

Stefanyshyn said a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Michiagn International Speedway would test the new changes and also evaluate potential changes for 2017. NASCAR.com reported that Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr. will test at Michigan.