Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

NASCAR Notebook: Rule Changes May Put New Premium on Driver Skills

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

NASCAR Notebook: Rule Changes May Put New Premium on Driver Skills

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- History has shown that drivers, teams and owners don't always agree with NASCAR.

But to a man, Sprint Cup Series drivers preparing for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway applauded NASCAR's 2016 rules package released on Wednesday.

The biggest change in the rules package centers around lowering downforce in Sprint Cup cars, which figures to put things more in the hands of the driver in '16.

"Great," current points leader Joey Logano said. "I think that's exactly what we want. I think all the drivers have always wanted less downforce on the cars.

"I think there's been some great tests this year as far as race conditions -- Darlington, Kentucky -- and I feel like we've seen a huge improvement in racing at those two race tracks. Darlington has been a race track in the past that's been kind of a tough race track to see a great race and this year (was) one of the best races we've had all year. And the only thing different is the rules package and a softer tire to go along with it. Heck yeah, perfect. What else do you need to hear?"

Logano, and others, said that the '16 rules package is one that will benefit drivers in a variety of ways.

"It's a lot of fun for drivers," Logano said about the effect of lower downforce. "It's a lot easier to be behind another car and be able to race them and pass them and stuff like that, so that's good. That's the right direction. I'm not against going more someday, but this is a great step to see where it takes us next year. I think it will be a lot of fun to be a part of it.''

Dale Earnhardt Jr. agreed.

"I think all the drivers are excited about it,'' Earnhardt said. "I'm good with it. It's a good change of direction I think to change the way the races are going to look and feel. I wouldn't be looking for some dramatic change, but I think the drivers are happy about it. I believe that after what the fans and NASCAR saw in the two races that we ran it this year (Darlington, Kentucky) that they are excited about it was well. …

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