Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway was the first test of the new NASCAR rules package; It passed
For years, NASCAR went the direction of less downforce. The idea was to put the stock cars more in the hands of the drivers.
For 2019, they flipped the rule book upside down. Reading it backwards, NASCAR race cars now have significantly more downforce.
The rear spoiler is about 5 inches tall than last year. There’s more downforce on the front end as well with a larger splitter and radiator pan.
Atlanta was the first true test of the 2019 rules package. It was a major success and significantly improved the racing on the 1.5-mile track.
There’s still a bubble of air at the front of the field. But, anywhere beyond that and cars were 3 and even 4 wide racing.
Steve O’Donnell on the new NASCAR rules package
“I saw a fairly entertaining race,” Steve O’Donnell stated following the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“Like I said going into this race, we didn’t know what to expect. We thought that this package would showcase itself more when we got to the west coast.”
West Coast Races: Atlanta Motor Speedway (February 24), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 3), ISM Raceway (March 10) and Auto Club Speedway (March 17).
“With some really long green flag runs I think you saw the ability to get back up to the leader and make a pass. Which was encouraging.”
“All-in-all, I think we’re satisfied with the outcome. A lot of work to do, to go back and review it though.”
Any shortcomings to the new rules package?
“Nothing that comes to mind. We saw an entertaining race with a good battle for the lead there that wasn’t precipitated by a late caution.”
“That’s ultimately what you want. You can always look to improve. We gotta go back and look at the metrics.”
“The story line was about the battle at the end of the race.”
Atlanta Motor Speedway was actually a hybrid of the new rules. At most of the other tracks over 1-mile, you’ll see aero ducts on the front of the car which are designed to force air to the trailing car.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway will have everything you saw on Sunday with the addition of aero ducts.
“This one was more of an unknown. This race [Atlanta] was the biggest question mark as to how it would play out.”
“We wanted cars to run closer together. We wanted a battle to play out for the lead at times. Ultimately, I think it was where we wanted to go.”
Kyle Busch said he wasn’t fond of the package and that it was hard to pass out there.
“Kyle can have his opinion. We got 40 race cars out there, all battling for the win.”
Atlanta Race Results: February 24, 2019