The NASCAR All-Star Race was a test, it worked. Now what? NASCAR EVP details the next steps.
NASCAR racing is on the upswing again. It’s about to become very popular over the next few years.
Why? Because a new package that was tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway will likely change 1.5-mile racing across the board in the coming years.
It’s not pack racing. It was sort of a middle of the road package. But, the fans approve.
How would this be implemented for 2019?
“Particular with the OEM’s, a lot of things still to work on. We didn’t want to push too much on what we would do because we didn’t know what we would see,” NASCAR Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell stated from the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We can’t really put a time table on it. Other than we know that we’ve got some meetings setup that were contingent on what we saw tonight. Then, we’ll try to put a timeline together to work toward 2019.”
I think it’s fair to say this is something we absolutely want to look at.
“There’s certainly some things you could tweak, if we went this route. We gotta take the time and be smart about this. I think it’s fair to say this is something we absolutely want to look at.”
“I think you judge it by the fans. You looked down in the last 10 laps and everybody’s standing up. Marcus has a suite next to us. I think it’s fair to say that last year’s All-Star race was fairly silent.”
“It was packed. We heard screaming in the suite next to us. People were enthused. You didn’t know who was going to win that race in turn 3. You say 3 lead changes in one lap at the end of the third stage.”
There’s excitement in NASCAR land stemming from the NASCAR All-Star Race. The fans want more and they want it now.
Could this package be used in 2018? Is that an option?
“I would never say never. Our intent was to use this here. Then, really take a deep dive into how do we make this the best package possible for 2019. If we liked what we saw.”
This package was the exact opposite of NASCAR’s recent direction. So, how did we get here?
“If you look back to where we were in 2013-2014. We were more of a high downforce package. I had a lot of discussions in the garage area about the racing and what we could do.”
“We chose to go all low downforce at that point. That mixture produced some good racing. But, some challenges as well. When we looked at that, one of the things was the speeds.”
“Charlotte, Atlanta… Usually higher speeds make it tougher to pass. There’s usually 1 groove. What I hear is from our fan base is, ‘I love the trucks. The trucks are great!’ ”
“I don’t hear anybody really talk about the speeds of the trucks. They say it’s great racing.”
“The goal tonight was to put on a great race but also be able to showcase the best drivers. Kevin Harvick winning is by no means a negative. It’s the best team right now and he went out there and proved it.”
“We’re proud of the race product that we have on the track each and every week. And we always look to improve it.”
“One of the ways that you improve it and do it in a smart way is to work collectively with the industry. The last thing for us to do is to roll something out with a number of unanswered questions.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the garage area to make sure we’re on the right track. We feel we are. We want to make sure the OEM’s are comfortable with where we’re going so that we continue to have that fair playing field across the board.”
“Certainly, the direction we saw tonight is one we would like to pursue. But, we need to have continuing conversations. To go back and really analyze everything that we saw.”
“It’s a 1 hour eye test. We haven’t gotten into all the data as of yet.”
How many packages can NASCAR have?
“We did a lot of work over the off-season with the engine builders. To look at, how can we be more efficient with the engines.”
“This was not part of that. When we looked at this race, one of the challenges was, are we going to create an entirely new engine package? That was not the intent at all.”
“If we were to pursue this route that’s certainly one of the things we’d look at. How do you keep a restricted engine package and just one other. Not go to 3 different engine packages.”
“Very similar to the race cars as far as what they look like. You want to be as efficient as you can but also put on the best racing possible.”
“If this is something the fans liked then we’d continue in that direction. That’s ultimately how you dial in if it’s 36 different packages or if it’s three. We believe it’s something that we can keep it simple with the number of race packages that we put together.”