Charlotte Test To Take On Gen 6 Pushiness
By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – A NASCAR test scheduled for Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway will deal with various aerodynamic devices on Sprint Cup cars in an effort to find a configuration that will eliminate aero push, thus allowing for easier passing and side-by-side racing during an event.
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR’s vice president of innovation and racing development, says items slated for testing include spoiler sizes and splitters. He said possible elimination of the ride height requirement was also being studied.
“They [the drivers] say the car is very stable, but when they get in traffic they’re having trouble passing, so we’re trying to work on that,” Stefanyshyn said. “We have three sets of configurations that we’re going to look at. We will isolate each one and ascertain the value of each.”
In regards to eliminating the ride height requirement, Stefanyshyn said he had heard other people “have played with this a bit”, but he had no definitive data and Monday would be his first test with it.
Due to the current ride height requirement, Stefanyshyn said there was a possibility the springs in the front end were too light and that would make cars following in dirty air not as stable.
“We don’t know if it’s true,” Stefanyshyn said. “We’re thinking if we get the car setup more to its racing height that more stability would be provided to the cars.”
If the ride height rule was eliminated, Stefanyshyn said each car would still go through pre-race inspection where the wheelbase and camber would be checked to ensure each car was setup properly.
“When we’re done with that, we would let the guys drop the frontend to whatever race height they think is appropriate for that track,” Stefanyshyn added.
It has yet to be determined if a car would go through height inspection after a race.
Veteran team owner Jack Roush is one person who would like for NASCAR to stop checking a car’s ride height after an event; however, he’s concerned about getting rid of the rule entirely.
“The problem of taking the ride height requirements off the car is you’re going to have much more trouble with the cars hitting the ground and wearing out components of the car,” Roush said. “But the main thing that I see is you’re going to have difficulty getting the jack apparatus underneath the car to jack the thing up. I’ll be surprised if they get all they’re going after right now. My guess is they’ll get some of it.
“If NASCAR would eliminate that and give us more freedom to use shocks and other devices to get it down and still have enough ride height to get a jack under it, I think that would be the best.”
Stefanyshyn noted the ride height of the car in relation to using the jack effectively would be something that each team would have to take into consideration when developing their race strategy.
“If they take it too low and they hurt themselves in that regard, then that’s something they need to consider,” Stefanyshyn commented.
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