Bizarre accident mars NASCAR practice at Indy

Denny Hamlin enters the garage with a damaged hood during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Denny Hamlin enters the garage with a damaged hood during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series took to the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday  in preparation for Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The teams all had extra practice time thanks to a new high-drag aero package mandated by NASCAR.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series package for Indianapolis includes a 43-inch radiator pan (increased from 38 inches), a two-inch splitter leading edge, a one-inch wicker bill and nine-inch spoiler (increased from six inches). The increased downforce adds drag to the car and creates a larger draft window in the back.

“When you look at a lot of the data, and obviously you see it play out on the race track, but the belief is that the second-place car, if they’re lined up maybe two, three, four, five, could have a five-mile-an-hour difference between the leader,” NASCAR Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said when the package was announced recently. “As an example, if you came out of Turn 2 and you had a four-car-length lead, it’s the belief that second and third, if they hooked up, could head into Turn 3 up on the bumper of the leader and potentially have kind of that, more of that slingshot that you used to see and the ability to pass.  A lot of that we’ve got to see in the real world once we’re out there at Indy, but that’s the effect we believe it’ll have.” MORE>>>

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