News Analysis: NASCAR ditches All-Star aero package for 2018

What happened: In a story released on its website, NASCAR revealed it will not use the All-Star aero package for the remainder of the 2018 Cup Series schedule, halting momentum that seemed to be building among series officials and racetracks who hoped to see more pack racing.’s story cited a lack of time to prepare for the package in more races this season, saying it “would have been a Herculean undertaking and one that could have resulted in a rushed output.”

What it means: A major development in the ongoing battle for NASCAR’s soul, which had sparked a debate over what was more important — pure competition or the quality of the show (you can find a timeline of this story here). While the All-Star package undoubtedly was entertaining, it raised questions about NASCAR becoming a drafting series if those rules were used in points races going forward. Drivers like Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch had begun to speak out against the idea of using the package in more races, but NASCAR and the tracks — particularly the Speedway Motorsports Inc. venues headed by Marcus Smith — seemed intent on giving it a shot. Earlier this month, NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell said the package could be used in three more Cup races this season before the playoffs began, and races like Kentucky, Pocono and Michigan seemed like potential candidates. But something must have happened behind the scenes with the various councils NASCAR consults with, because the All-Star package was suddenly snuffed just when its prospects started to burn brighter.

News value (scale of 1-10): Seven, due to the surprise value. No one outside of NASCAR cares about rule packages or even knows what that means, but this had become a pretty important story inside the garage. The fact NASCAR won’t even try the package again in Cup until at least 2019 is a significant and puzzling development (albeit a good one for those who rejected the idea of seeing a restrictor-plate type race every week).

Three questions: What changed? Whose voice or voices in this conversation were able to overrule the other side? Will fans applaud this move to hold off on a major change and keep the racing relatively pure or complain that NASCAR isn’t doing enough to entertain them?

8 Replies to “News Analysis: NASCAR ditches All-Star aero package for 2018”

  1. Maybe some folks balked at the idea of having yet another rule set for certain races. Sure mile and a half to two miles would have this but you need another one for the big tracks and another one for short tracks/road courses. As long as the fall 2000 New Hampshire race is out there to show why plates would be a horrible idea on mile or less and roadies I don’t see a rush to implement them. So that’s 3 different rules packages, 3 different investments and maybe teams said no to that.

    1. Yeah, I am still waiting on a refund from that fiasco that we sat through at NHMS! Ugh, worse knee jerk reaction ever from NASCAR! It was painful!

  2. That’s great news! I’m not a fan of it in the cup series at all. I still think getting rid of the side skirts and splitters would do wonders for the cars. The skunk Xfinity Pocono race probably didn’t help. We definitely do not need wide open throttle in the Cup series races outside of Daytona and Talladega.

  3. As the cars get faster and faster aero becomes more of a problem. This is why other racing series have push to pass, drag reduction systems and im sure there are others that i don’t know about, its not an easy problem at all. Bottom line is the package failed to produce the result intended, the leader was still able to pull away and the cars behind were unable to make quality passes outside of restarts, yes the racing was good in the middle of the pack but honestly that really doesn’t matter.

    Either way i’m happy they scrapped it, hopefully they learned something to try again down the road.

  4. Didn’t the Smith family help get us into the mile and a half
    mess to begin with?

  5. BOO! I would NOT want to see the All-Star (or variation) at all 1.5 and 2.0 mile tracks for every race but really wanted to see it for a couple more this year and 6-8 next year. That would be enough for the fans to “VOTE” by attendance and TV Ratings.
    I say REPAVE Atlanta and bring it there in Feb. If no repave then either aero package it fine for AMS….my home track.

  6. I’m disappointed we won’t see it at least one more time this year but in a way not surprised. From what all I’ve read, there are a LOT of fans who did NOT want this package. Me being one who loved the package would’ve liked to see it at Michigan maybe. I was kind of shocked that they were talking about trying it at IMS being that it’s the final race of the regular season and a race that could completely change the Playoff picture.

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