LAS VEGAS, Nev.—A long-time advocate for lower downforce on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, Carl Edwards like the direction of the new competition package, which features a smaller spoiler
Now he hopes NASCAR will go accelerate the trend.
“I believe that I’m on the same page with everyone—NASCAR, the drivers, the fans—we all want to see the best racing on the race track,” Edwards said. “The question is how exactly do we get that. The way I understand it, Gene Stefanyshyn (NASCAR senior vice president for innovation and racing development) and everyone at NASCAR is going through the process of trying to remove a little bit of downforce and to make the cars race better.
“I’m hoping that there’s more of that in the future, because what’s happening is, as you remove horsepower, there’s just less time off the throttle and eventually if you keep taking more horsepower away and the teams keep finding more and more downforce, it will be impossible to pass.
“So NASCAR has to stay ahead of that curve. They’re working on it. We tested a package that is even lower downforce than this and I hope and pray every day that that’s the direction we go, because I believe that’s what the fans deserve. I think that’s what’s going to provide the best racing and NASCAR has been headed that direction.”
Fans are slated to get their first preview of the initial version of the 2016 competition package at the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.
RAGAN TO BACKUP CAR
Last week’s Atlanta winner, Jimmie Johnson, led both Saturday Sprint Cup practices, running 191.891 mph in the first session and 187.637 mph in warmer conditions in final practice.
Relatively speaking, reigning series champion Kevin Harvick was considerably faster in race trim than he was during qualifying. Harvick, who will start 18th on Sunday, was third fastest in Saturday’s morning practice and fifth fastest in the final session, a good omen for Sunday’s race.