More than three weeks after NASCAR tested a new rules package for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the All-Star race, the debate continues as to whether it should be used in a points race.
Last week, Brad Keselowski expressed concern that fewer top drivers would come to NASCAR if this was the primary rules package because the cars would be too easy to drive.
Mark Martin added his support, saying: “NASCAR racing, from the way it was at the very beginning, that was a different skillset from taking cars and choking them off.”
He added: “It really, really hurts me to think about if we’re going to change that to satisfy Johnny-come-lately fans.”
That spurred a response from Jeff Burton on Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America.
“I think what they are trying to say is there is an integrity to racing,” Burton said. “And how do you keep that integrity? … I don’t care how much horsepower (the cars) make. When someone wins an Xfinity race, they don’t get out and say ‘anybody could run it because they have less horsepower than a Cup car.’”
Burton believes the competition was improved in the All-Star race. Last year’s Xfinity race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway race was much improved – a fact that is undebatable, according to Burton. But the results have been far from conclusive. The rules package did not make much of a difference at Pocono Raceway. It did at Michigan International Speedway, but the cars were notably slower.
“Now NASCAR and all the stakeholders get to take that information and learn from it and try to come with a package that does everything everybody wants it to do,” Burton said. “They still need to be hard to drive. NASCAR has never said that they want pack racing at Michigan. They’ve never said that. They want it to remain so it’s difficult to drive.”
So how do they do it? The answer is not going to be a simple one, but Burton believes there is an answer to be had.
“There is nothing wrong with looking at it and trying to figure it out,” Burton said. “I think what everybody’s worried about is that this package is the only answer. And it’s not. This package is something that’s being tried to learn what’s good and what’s bad – and ultimately a decision is going to be made to make the racing better at these particular racetracks – not everywhere. And I don’t know how that is bad for the sport.
“Unless, anybody can get in the car and do it.”
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