CONCORD, N.C. — Hall of Fame car owners Richard Childress and Roger Penske want NASCAR to run the package used in last week’s All-Star Race again this season.
Because of the charter agreement between NASCAR and teams, any significant mid-season rule change (other than for safety) would have to be approved by car owners. Childress said he would vote to approve it.
“Anything that is good for our sport right now, which I think it would be, I’m for it,’’ Childress told NBC Sports on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I’m putting RCR aside and looking at the sport itself. If everybody in this garage will do that … put the sport first and we all go out and put the best show for the fans in the stands, that’s what we’ve got to do.’’
Penske, speaking to the media Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway said he enjoyed last weekend’s All-Star Race.
“I thought it was terrific,’’ Penske said “Nobody could get away.
“Directionally, I think it’s the right thing to do. What I like about it is we’re trying something.’’
Where should this package run?
“I’d like to see us maybe run (Indianapolis) and somebody talked about running it at Michigan,” Penske said.
Childress, told of Penske’s recommendation on where to run the package, said: “That would be a good starting place, either one of them.’’
The Xfinity Series will run a similar package at Pocono (June 2), Michigan (June 9) and Indianapolis (Sept. 8).
Richie Gilmore, president of ECR Engines, told NBC Sports that engine suppliers plan to meet with NASCAR officials next week to discuss options to run the package this season.
“One of the challenges we have is our engines are already built three weeks in advance,’’ Gilmore said. “The Michigan and Pocono engines are already in the cars, given out to the teams. It’s a little bit more of a challenge this year because we have the sealed engine rule (teams must run a sealed engine in two races). So we already have our schedules laid out in advance.’’
Gilmore says the engine builders are in support of running the package again this year.
“We all do believe this is something healthy for the sport,’’ Gilmore said.
Gilmore said the engine builders have talked about running this package at Michigan in August and then four weeks later at Indianapolis in September. That would allow teams to use the same engines in both events.
“I think that’s the feedback we’re going to talk about next week,” Gilmore said of the meeting with NASCAR. “Where is the best place to do this, as far as scheduling. I think we all feel this is something we can do as far as reliability. I think the next thing is just scheduling.’’
Gilmore said the engine builders “could react” to whatever races NASCAR decides to run the package.
“I think we went into the meeting (NASCAR had with team officials, engine builders and drivers Wednesday) thinking maybe it was possible for the 600, so we all kind of had a plan. It would be better, I think, for us to react to the second go around at Michigan and those races but we could make it happen (earlier) if we need to.’’
Nate Ryan contributed from Indianapolis