By Sarah Tonsmeire
Other than the 2016 schedule, NASCAR made the most anticipated announcement today, the 2016 rules package. If the glimpses the Kentucky and Darlington packages provided this season foreshadowed what’s to come in 2016, next season will be action packed.
The current rules package places major emphasis on the aerodynamics of the car. Races at intermediate tracks this season have been plagued with single drivers dominating the majority of the race. It has been nearly impossible for drivers to pass the leader on the track. The incoming rules package should improve this scenario, and here’s why.
The new low downforce package features a 3.5-inch spoiler, a 0.25-inch front leading splitter edge, and a 33-inch wide radiator plan. NASCAR has collaborated with Goodyear to provide specific tires for each track specific package.
The characteristics of this new package will remove emphasis on the downforce of the car and allow drivers to have more control when maneuvering the cars. By moving to a low downforce package, more passing is to be expected, especially on intermediate tracks.
In addition to the new 2016 low downforce package, NASCAR has mandated some safety improvements and other changes to the car. The digital dashboard that has been tested by many drivers this season will be a mandatory change for 2016.
Seeing the results of the packages tested at Kentucky and Darlington this year, it seems as though NASCAR is taking a giant leap in the right direction to improve races in 2016.