Brad Keselowski was the first NASCAR winner on a 1.5-mile oval for the new rules package
In years past, NASCAR has taken away downforce while the teams maximized technology to produce more horsepower. Yet, NASCAR took a leap for 2019.
The script has been flipped. This year, NASCAR has added downforce and taken away horsepower. The idea is to slow the cars down and make aerodynamics less dependent for the trailing car.
Front downforce pushes the front wheels into the race track and gives drivers more grip. But, when they pull to the bumper of another car, that air is removed and the front end washes up the banking in the corners as the car doesn’t turn.
By slowing the cars down, less air is pushing down on all cars.
Sunday at Atlanta was the first semi-test of the new rules package. This coming weekend, the aero ducts will come into play, taking everything a step further.
Roger Penske on the new NASCAR rules package
“I have to give NASCAR a real good grade on the racing,” Roger Penske stated after his driver went to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“You could race, come up, fall back. Some people maybe didn’t like that you couldn’t pass. But, I felt overall that it made a big difference.”
“I’d have to say a solid B. No one gets an A on their first exam. There were drivers, Brad included. Sir Joey, he came from the back, twice.”
“What was amazing to me was. With someone on the high side, you could run the low line going into turn two. You could stay with him and drag him back going down the straight-away. There were some things that you don’t see normally.”
“The cars seemed to be more under control. You didn’t see any accidents. Maybe the fans like that. Overall, it wasn’t a crash fest, which everybody said that it was going to be.”
“It’s going to interesting to see what happens at Las Vegas.”
“The inspection process was good. It looks like there’s a lot of equal cars running out there. It’s going to come up to the drivers and the strategy. Which is what we want.”
“We’ll see how it plays out. But, I was quite happy with the outcome.”
“We’ll look forward to see what happens in the next couple of weeks.”
Brad Keselowski on the new rules package
“It reminded me a lot of the few truck race I’ve ran over the last few years on the mile and a half tracks,” race winner Brad Keselowski stated.
“Getting the draft right on the restart is really critical. Swapping the lanes at the right time.”
“I think we’ll see that play out over races to come.”
NASCAR changed more than the engine and body shape. They also took away the in-car trackbar adjuster. It’s something that hasn’t been talked about much.
“Taking the trackbar adjuster out of the car definitely made a difference. To me, the trackbar adjuster always made it easier to play defense,” Keselowski continued.
“That was an interesting change. I think you saw more comers and goers because of that.”
“Atlanta’s not like the other mile and a halfs in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of tire wear here. Super high speeds and banking. It kind of maxes out in all the categories.”
“Las Vegas next week is probably the middle of all the categories. I wouldn’t guarantee that what you saw today is what you’ll see moving forward.”
“All-in-all, it was about what I expected to be for Atlanta. We’ll keep tweaking. The racing will evolve. What direction? I don’t know.”