High-Drag Package Receives Negative Reviews at Indyby Kyle Pokrefky July 27, 2015 0 comments
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ new high-drag package made its official debut in race conditions on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and left several drivers unhappy with the aerodynamic effects of the new package.
While the series’s low-downforce package utilized at Kentucky Speedway two weeks ago received high marks from drivers, the new high-drag package left drivers puzzled as to how to pass.
Intended to promote passing, drivers felt it hard to do so out on the 2.5-mile superspeedway with the new ruleset. While a draft was certainly present, as was intended with its design, it wasn’t large enough to consistently allow for slingshot maneuvers into the corners.
Brickyard 400 race winner Kyle Busch said that the idea of having a lot of drag on the cars is an exciting one with the draft; however, when being put back in traffic, the cars almost felt uncontrollable in the corners.
“I think drag is exciting,” Busch stated. “I would agree that there’s nothing more beneficial than to be able to see a guy behind another guy gain on him down the straightaways, instead of making it a horsepower race you can make it a drag race. That’s fun.
“But the thing that bothers us drivers is when you get to the corners and you absolutely ‑ when you’re by yourself, today, for instance, when I was by myself, I felt like I was a really good race car. I felt like I had the car to beat. But then when you got back in traffic, whether you were behind a guy or behind a group of cars, you were horrible.
“It was just absolutely so hard to handle in traffic. It’s not sometimes such a bad thing, but you don’t want to feel like you’re going off into the corner and you’re going to crash every time. That’s the thing. You want to have some sort of security.”
The race winner’s older brother, Kurt Busch, the race’s eighth-place finisher, also took note of unusual behavior characteristics with the new package, stating that the behavior of the car changed from one extreme to the other depending on where traffic was.
“I just didn’t like the way a car would drive loose behind other cars and tight in front of other cars,” the driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet said. “That’s opposite of normal. And it really seemed odd they way they raced. I wish there was more of a draft; but those only pop-up on restarts.”
Ninth-place finisher Kyle Larson cut right to the chase with his comments on the new package.
“It was terrible,” Larson said. “It was really bad. There was lots of grip by yourself and then as soon as you get within like five car lengths of the guy in front of you, it’s no grip. So, I don’t know. Restarts are intense. But, other than that, it’s pretty bad.”
The new package has one more race to go in its 2015 trial with it scheduled for use in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16th.
With Michigan boasting a vastly different track configuration than Indianapolis, the package has its own shot for redemption at a track that features multiple grooves throughout the corners.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images