The Great Debate: A timeline of NASCAR’s high-drag rules package coverage

There’s currently an intense debate in NASCAR over the future direction of Cup Series racing. On one hand, a potential breakthrough with a high-drag/downforce rules package — first tried in the 2017 Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis and repeated in the All-Star Race in May — could keep the cars closer together and prevent the leader from getting away. On the other hand, a restricted race would not reward skill as much and go away from what the core of NASCAR Cup racing has been over the years (except for Daytona and Talladega).

Here’s a timeline of coverage related to this topic so far:

May 19, 2018: After the All-Star Race, I shared concerns and worries over the direction NASCAR would likely take following the success of the race via Periscope.

May 21, 2018: In the “Was it a good race?” poll, 84 percent of fans said they liked the All-Star race.

May 30, 2018: After watching the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600, I wrote a column wondering whether adding more downforce was the way to go in racing after all.

June 1, 2018: In the wake of Steve O’Donnell telling FS1 the package could be used in up to three points races this season, some of NASCAR’s top young drivers said they were unsettled by the thought of NASCAR making this package a mainstay in Cup Series racing. Here’s a recap of their comments.

June 8, 2018: Brad Keselowski elaborated on why the All-Star package should be used for that race only — and what the consequences might be if it becomes the standard. Here’s a clip I posted to YouTube:


3 Replies to “The Great Debate: A timeline of NASCAR’s high-drag rules package coverage”

  1. Plate pack racing is not what I want to see on most tracks. For a few races a year it’s something different…but not exactly racing. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and opt for smaller engines and no splitter. And perhaps the cars should fit a manufacturers template that matches what they put on the street.

  2. Umm, you posted the wrong All-Star (2017) stat. It was 84% Yes, 16% No (2018) ????. Oh, I’m still for something…… As I’ve said before I have no engineering or mechanical knowledge so I’m thinking like Sall, why can’t they just go to less horsepower??

  3. I think I’m tired of the way NASCAR keeps ‘tweeking’ the rules and the set-ups etc. I often perceive it as giving an advantage to one manufacturer or another. The changes are more painful financially for smaller teams (JMO – I know NASCAR says that it will make it easier for smaller teams but still…). I want to see skill on the track. Rules for safety – ok. But some rules seem designed to create fake drama. I’m going to try to get to more short track minor series races this year. Maybe the *stars* aren’t there but I’m hoping the action is.

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