NASCAR America: How will changes impact 2018 Daytona 500?

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Much of Monday’s edition of NASCAR America was about changes in the sport, including drivers retiring or changing teams, the impact young drivers will continue to make and more.

One other big change will be seen and felt in the first race of 2018, the 60th running of the Daytona 500.

From a technical standpoint, overall downforce will again be reduced but not as much as in years past, ride-height rules will be eliminated at Daytona and Talladega and there will be more of a feeling that the racing will be more driver and crew chief friendly.

Here’s what NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett had to say on the changes: “By what I’m seeing and hearing is that it’s going to put some things back into the drivers hands a little bit more, and I like that idea.

“When you make the cars harder to drive, it really impacts the decision drivers make and working extremely hard. It’s never been easy, but because the cars drove so good – everybody had the same springs and shocks in the rear of the car – it was just about learning to draft.

“Now it’s going to be back to where they can make some changes and make them more driver-specific as to how they want their car how to drive and handle. It should make it more entertaining, I would think.”

Former crew chief turned NBC analyst Steve Letarte added, “There are questions I don’t have an answer to. I don’t think that has happened the last five, six years. Not much has changed and we’re not talking about the downforce and power. There’s just so many nuances. … So much of the setup was dictated by NASCAR and it had to be because of the way it evolved over time. I think it’s going to be good.

Kyle Petty also chimed in, saying he’s in favor of the changes: “The way these cars had the rules they had to run in the past, they were more equal. This will separate them more and put them more in the drivers’ and crew chiefs’ hands. How much can you stand, how much are you willing to gamble, how far are you willing to go and still make the car drive good? I like this rule.”

Will fans like it?

Check out more of the analysts’ thoughts in the video above.