NASCAR targets 4 more races with new rules packages

As part of its continuing efforts to improve its on-track product, NASCAR on Tuesday unveiled aerodynamic rules packages for four upcoming Sprint Cup Series races.

The first of NASCAR’s track-specific rules packages will debut this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

The races announced Tuesday will be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

All five races with new rules will take place before the 10-race championship Chase, but it is possible more could be added this season.

“The decision by NASCAR to add those races to the already-planned rules update at Kentucky this week is really coming on the heels of the continuing dialogue we’ve had with the industry that’s been terrific,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

“I think all of this shows that we remain committed to putting the best racing on in the world.”

Races at Michigan and Indianapolis will feature higher drag packages with changes in the spoiler and the addition of a 1-inch wicker bill that are expected to reduce speeds by an estimated 10 mph.

Darlington will see a rules package similar to the one this weekend at Kentucky, which will feature much less downforce. Goodyear also will have a race-specific tire ready for the Darlington race.

At Richmond, teams will use the current rules but with a new tire designed by Goodyear.

O’Donnell said “all options” remain on the table for the rest of the season.

“Obviously, we want to wait to see what happens at each of these events,” he said. “Currently these are race-specific rules that we’re looking at, but no final decision has been made.”

Cup teams have two test sessions planned Wednesday afternoon at Kentucky to prepare for the new package.

Bad weather threatens to disrupt the test, but O’Donnell said if that happens, teams will be granted additional practice time Thursday.

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