Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No preseason testing may have leveled NASCAR playing field

No preseason testing may have leveled playing field
When the NASCAR circuit arrives at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second race of the season, the first at a non-restrictor-plate track, there will be a host of new rules for Sprint Cup cars.

Among them are a reduction in horsepower along with a reduction in downforce. Drivers will be allowed to make chassis adjustments from inside the cars, and officiating on pit road will be done more with electronics, taking some of the judgment calls out of the equation.

Former driver and Fox analyst Darrell Waltrip said the new pit-road rules could be problematic for teams, especially at Daytona, Atlanta and some of the earlier races on the schedule.

Larry McReynolds, a long-time crew chief who now works alongside Waltrip as an analyst, said one rule change that is not getting a lot of attention could have the most impact.

“The biggest one is the ban on testing other than the tests in conjunction with NASCAR or Goodyear,” he said, adding that rules changes always seem to affect some teams more than others.

“We saw that last year with the no-ride-height and downforce changes. Joe Gibbs Racing struggled when compared to their 2013 performance.

“If anything, what the testing ban could do is give an advantage to the middle-tier teams who typically can’t afford to test. It levels the playing field a bit more for them.”

Read More Here....Atlanta Constitution-Journal

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