One of the most talked about and probably least understood rules in NASCAR is the ride-height rule. What is that? Exactly. It’s not as sexy or noticeable to fans as say pit road rules or paint scheme rules, but it’s debated constantly by teams.
NASCAR, ever the tweaker of rules, has decided to get rid of the post-race ride height measurements for Daytona and Talladega, the last of the holdouts. Unlike the many other moves that seem to make no sense, this one is welcomed.
“I think it’s going to be better for the safety aspect,” Kyle Busch told espn.com. “I think, obviously, with all of us trying to get our cars as down and as low as possible that that’s going to be really good for us for lift-off speeds and things like that. When the car gets turned around, it’s not going to want to lift as fast.”
Safety, after all, should be the number one consideration. Rather than teams worrying about making sure their cars aren’t too low and face penalties, they can focus on tuning their cars for better aerodynamics and creating more downforce. They won’t have to turn the springs so that the car pops back up. More downforce gives teams and drivers more options on how to race. It’s not just about speed anymore but how well drivers can manage the speed they have through turns and maneuvers.
“Maybe hopefully it’ll make the cars drive worse, so then there is some handling that comes into play,” Busch explained. “I would enjoy that. I would like that because I think any time you have an opportunity to out setup someone or out handle someone at a racetrack, that’s what creates racing. That’s what makes passing.”
And that’s something NASCAR fans have been asking for…a more strategic race where it’s not necessarily the fastest to the finish but the smartest that takes the checkered.