The drafting package used during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend continues to be a discussion point for NASCAR competition officials, tracks, teams, manufacturers and engine builders. The conversation now, though, is centered on how to potentially implement elements of it in 2019 at the earliest.
The rules package used at the All-Star Race that included aero ducts, a higher spoiler, plates and an older splitter, will not be used in the Monster Energy Series again in 2018.
"Everyone is aligned on doing what's best for the fans," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell told NASCAR.com on the ongoing competition discussions. "As we went through that process of discussing (the drafting package) following the All-Star Race, we all realized we have something that could work."
"We had a lot of detailed conversations, but in the end, we all felt like the best thing to do was to put some additional effort into some potential tweaks and focus on 2019 versus a race or two this season."
Getting the drafting package in place for additional races in 2018 would have been a Herculean undertaking, and one that could have resulted in a rushed output. Instead, NASCAR will utilize the current rules package - one that has produced competitive racing in 2018 - for the remainder of the season.
Competition officials currently are considering an engine package that includes the use of a tapered spacer instead of a plate.
Track type is an important consideration, too - what works at 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway may not provide similar results at a different track type. "One of the clear takeaways is that this is not something you would want to implement at every race track," O'Donnell said. "There are certain race tracks we want to potentially target. Finding the optimal horsepower-to-downforce ratio will be a key focal point to continue to improve the race package.
--- NASCAR.com ---