NASCAR experimented with a rules package during Sunday’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and officials are considering whether to try out the rules in a Cup Series race.
The rules package included putting a restrictor plate on the cars that reduced power by about 225 hp and they put air ducts behind the front bumpers to push air to the side. The rules basically made the cars run more like trucks, and it resulted in a race-record 16 lead changes during the Xfinity race.
Brad Keselowski said he liked the change to an extent, and he’s glad NASCAR officials gave it a try.
“Not the restrictor plate, but the air ducts are the way to go for sure,” Keselowski said via ESPN. “That was a huge gain and something I’ve been pushing on NASCAR for a while, so it’s good to see them do it and give them a shot over there.”
NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said he needs to talk to more drivers to see how they feel about a potential change.
“Certainly I think it passed the eye test,” O’Donnell said. “What at the end of the day matters is how many lead changes did we have and was it competitive throughout. And we thought it was.”
Not every driver shared Keselowski and O’Donnell’s sentiment about the changes. Kyle Busch said it hurts the fastest drivers in a race.
“I’m not a fan of it, but I’m not a fan of many things these days,” Busch said. “All you did was take the fastest guy and bring him back into everybody else’s clutches.”
O’Donnell disagreed with Busch, saying William Byron won the Xfinity race and wasn’t limited by the rule changes.
NASCAR officials will likely experiment with the package in a Cup Series race at some point, and the rules will need some tinkering before they are perfected. But the results from the first trial seemed positive, and this will be something NASCAR officials use in the future.