NASCAR is giving its 2017 aerodynamic package another trial run this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
The aero package includes less downforce than the new, low downforce setup introduced this season. It was already tested at Michigan’s first race in June and at Kentucky Speedway in July.
But there were a few things that still needed ironing out.
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR’s vice president of innovation and racing development, said some drivers thought the balance between the fronts and rears of their cars needed some slight work after Kentucky and the first Michigan race. It will also help cars manage corners better.
“Even though we felt like (June’s) Michigan race was drastically better than last year’s Michigan race, it still wasn’t what we were looking for,” said driver Brad Keselowski.
The new package has suited Ford and Team Penske’s Keselowski, who won at Kentucky, and Joey Logano, who won at Michigan in June. That’s been a welcome respite for them from a season that has been dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyotas.
“When you go to a lower downforce, we aren’t at quite a disadvantage,” said Keselowski. “Since we are running well, we have other advantages on the car. But from an aero perspective, we are the worst in that category. But the lower downforce suits us well.”
▪ Just like he did in June’s Michigan race, Logano will be on the pole Sunday. His lap of 201.688 mph in the final round of Friday’s qualifying edged Jimmie Johnson (201.523).
“The car did what I told it to,” said Logano.
Johnson apologized to Carl Edwards for an incident in the second round of qualifying when Johnson inadvertently cut off Edwards in a corner.
Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick will start on the second row.
▪ Dover Motorsports Inc. has a new buyer for the Nashville Superspeedway in a commercial real estate development company.
The motorsports company said Thursday that Panattoni Development Company will buy the superspeedway for $27.5 million and also take over Dover’s obligations under bonds issued in 1999 to help build infrastructure supporting the track.
▪ Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell and Kyle Busch will choose from the final three pit spots for Sunday’s race due to an accumulation of written warnings.
The Associated OPress contributed.