Biffle’s big idea: Different aero packages at the same track

Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle stand in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.
Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle stand in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.
Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle stand in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

LOUDON, N.H. – Greg Biffle had a novel idea—one that is unlikely to be implemented, but interesting nevertheless.

Given NASCAR’s willingness to refine its competition package in effort to enhance the quality of racing, though, nothing is totally out of the question.

Whether feasible or not, Biffle posed the following hypothetical during a media session on Friday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway prior to Sunday’s 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

“Do you know what would be perfect at Michigan would be we just run the first half of the race with the high downforce and run the second half of the race with the low downforce and see which half was better.”

Last week at Kentucky Speedway, NASCAR introduced a new small-spoiler, low-downforce package that won nearly universal acclaim among drivers and produced one of the most exciting intermediate-track races since last year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Next week at Indianapolis, and three weeks later at Michigan, NASCAR will try a higher-drag package with a nine-inch-tall spoiler (compared with 3.5 inches used at Kentucky) in an attempt to give cars a better chance to pass on those tracks.

Biffle’s idea is to compare the results of both the low-downforce and high-drag packages under the same conditions at the same race track, a concept that’s not as impractical as it might sound at first. Changing the key aerodynamic elements of the current Sprint Cup cars is a relatively simple process.

“I think it’s definitely a bold idea, and the way these cars are, it gives us that opportunity for having the splitter and the spoiler and being able to adjust those fairly easily to change the package around,” Biffle said. “Before, that was difficult to do, because we had a front valance on it, so you could never change the front downforce by changing that pan and the splitter.

“With them being able to change that around from track to track, it makes it fairly easy for the teams to switch out as well, so that’s a positive. I like the idea of changing it around.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.