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Cup Changes For ’17 Detailed

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, October 14 2016
Aero changes to 2017 Cup cars are similar to those used at Michigan International Speedway this year. Those cars featured a much smaller splitter to reduce downforce. (RacinToday/HHP file photo from Michigan by Harold Hinson)

Aero changes to 2017 Cup cars are similar to those used at Michigan International Speedway this year. Those cars featured a much smaller splitter to reduce downforce. (RacinToday/HHP file photo from Michigan by Harold Hinson)

KANSAS, Kan. – NASCAR’s seemingly unending marches back to the drawing board will continue in 2017 as officials announced updates to its performance and safety packages Friday at Kansas Speedway, site of this weekend’s racing.

As they have in the many of the recent performance rules, the changes for next year will concentrate on aerodynamics and the lessening of downforce.

Scott Miller, Sprint Cup’s senior vice president of competition, said the package is “basically what we raced at Michigan (this year) with a different-sized spoiler.”

The hope is to create better racing for fans, NASCAR vice president Gene Stefanyshyn told reporters.

The new rules include:

Race package

  • Splitter reduced by 3 inches in outboard regions
  • Spoiler reduced in height to 2 3/8 inches by 61 inches
  • Tapered rear deck fin
  • Net rear steer – zero

Safety

  • Anti-intrusion plating and structural foot box (mandatory at superspeedways, optional elsewhere)
  • Toe board foam (mandatory at superspeedways, optional elsewhere)
  • Roof hatch (mandatory at superspeedways, optional elsewhere)
  • Steering column mounting
  • Garage-only fuel coupler

Superspeedways (Talladega and Daytona)

  • Restrictor plate reduced to 7/8 inch
  • Vehicle weight increased by 20 pounds to accommodate structural changes

Tires

  • Reduced tire allotment
  • Start the race on tires used in qualifying

Many drivers have  been lobbying for smaller spoilers and splitters.

Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson was asked about the new rules on Friday.

“We are all wanting slower center of corner speeds,” Johnson said. “We all feel that will put on a better race.  The slower the center of corner speed is the more off throttle time we create, the more opportunities there are to pass, the more opportunities there are to make mistakes, the more opportunities you have to work on the handling of your race car.  Directionally, that is the way the sport is going.  I think the smaller spoiler is going to help us.  We saw a nice improvement across all matrixes with the 2016 package and 2017 is another step of that.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, October 14 2016
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