NASCAR Reveals 2016 Sprint Cup Aero Package, Low Downforce Highlighted

NASCAR Reveals 2016 Sprint Cup Aero Package, Low Downforce Highlighted

by October 14, 2015 0 comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR officially revealed its 2016 rules package for the Sprint Cup Series on Wednesday afternoon with the low downforce package utilized this season at Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway to serve as the standard package for next year.

The package for next year will utilize a three-and-a-half inch spoiler, a quarter-inch front leading splitter edge and a 33-inch wide radiator pan.

With the new package, NASCAR will also allow for track-specific tire compounds from Goodyear and track-specific gear ratios.

The goal for the package is to promote more off-throttle time and lower cornering speeds, two changes that will promote more passing – as was on display at both Darlington and Kentucky.

“NASCAR has worked tirelessly with our teams, drivers, manufacturers and Goodyear to develop a rules package that provides fans with the best racing possible,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said. “The success of the races at Kentucky and Darlington in similar trim proved extremely valuable in accelerating rules development for 2016. Now, as teams have even more time to prepare and a strong baseline of data, we anticipate the racing to be even better.”

The restrictor plate package to be used in 2016 will remain consistent with the package in place for 2015. New to the restrictor plate package for next season, however, will be the addition of roller lifters to the engines that will increase their power output by 10 horsepower. To combat this, NASCAR will adjust the restrictor plate size ahead of next year’s Daytona Speedweeks.

Earlier in the year, rumors swirled that NASCAR may use track-specific aero packages for the 2016 season. O’Donnell confirmed on Wednesday that, save for the restrictor plate races, all races will be completed using the low-downforce package.

“It’ll be a low downforce everywhere except the superspeedways, but what we’ll be able to do in each of those occasions is look at different gear ratios and match up the tires differently than you’ve seen in the past,” O’Donnell stated. “So I think it’s important to note that a race at Atlanta is going to be different than a race in Kansas based on what tire combos we go and the different gear ratios we deploy, which is something different from years past.”

O’Donnell also went on to confirm that the low-downforce package will not be making a return for any of the six remaining races left on the Sprint Cup calendar.

As for the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series, O’Donnell says that changes to both of those series could possibly be on the horizon, however, the sanctioning body will first

“I think at this point we want to see what we can learn on the Cup side with full confidence that what we’re going to see will be really positive,” O’Donnell said. “We’ll look at how that impacts the season, and that could be something you could see down the road from an XFINITY and truck perspective.

“Obviously some different things we’ve got to look at for each of those series, but that is something down the road we could take a look at for sure.”

The Sprint Cup Series will next be in action on Sunday at Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 – the second race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup’s Contender Round.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images


Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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