clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NASCAR CEO encouraged by Kentucky, wants pack racing

NASCAR would like to see tighter racing, drafting at intermediate tracks.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR Chairman Brian France was pleased by how a new rules package performed Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, but he says the sanctioning body wants to see even tighter racing, preferably with cars running in packs.

"What we're really looking for is, how tight is the racing?'' France said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "How many lead changes are there? How much passing through the field is going on? How many more teams are competitive by a given package? What accomplishes those goals the best? That's how we go about sorting it out.

"What we didn't see (at Kentucky) that we'd like to see more of is more drafting. We didn't see as much of that as we would have liked. And more pack racing. You saw that on the restarts, but not quite as much as we wanted. So there were a lot of things that we liked. Definitely an improvement on races that have happened [previously] at Kentucky."

Designed to reduce downforce, the package was implemented to make cars harder to handle and in turn, increase passing. The changes, which included a smaller rear spoiler, produced a track-record 22 green-flag passes for the lead and 2,665 green-flag passes throughout the field -- 1,518 more than in last year's race.

Drivers, who have lobbied for such a rules package for some time, almost universally praised the package following the Quaker State 400. Race-winner Kyle Busch called the racing "pretty good," while Carl Edwards said NASCAR should continue to take away downforce.

"We certainly listen to all of the drivers," France said. "We also recognize that certain drivers, a package like that, fits their driving style and you have to remember that. Nothing wrong with that -- they're naturally going to want to make sure that any package we put forward is best suited to their driving style. So we take that into consideration."

The package run at Kentucky will also be applied in September at Darlington Raceway. For that race, Goodyear will utilize a softer compound tire.

A high-drag package is set for upcoming races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 26) and Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 16). The goal of that package will be to generate drafting and pack racing, elements France said fans want.

"(Our fans) just expect it," France said. "I don't blame them, I expect it. They want tight racing. They want to see close finishes. They want to see multiple leaders and they don't want to see a certain package that doesn't provide that. That's what we're striving for. It's hard to do. It's hard to get right, but we're working at it every day."