NASCAR Considers Changes
January 8, 2010 | 4:42 P.M. EST
The wing has been part of the new Sprint Cup car since it made its debut in 2007 and the center of controversy from some drivers and teams who found the aerodynamic package and passing ability adversely impacting the car's handling.
And in the wake of the cars of Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards becoming airborne at the pair of Talladega races a year ago, the sanctioning body has been searching for ways to keep the machines on the ground. Replacing the wing with a spoiler might help that effort.
However NASCAR's Managing Director of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway program a change from the rear wing isn't being considered for that reason.
"We took a car to the wind tunnel after last year’s fall race at Talladega and recreated Ryan Newman’s crash to as high a degree as possible,” he said. “Those tests showed beyond any doubt that the rear wing had no effect on the way that race car took off.
“With that said, we talked to 14 different drivers at the NASCAR Technical Center yesterday, and all 14 of them were in favor of going back to rear spoilers as a way of increasing downforce and improving competition. As a result of the input we have received from those drivers, and others, I think it’s safe to say that we are taking a very serious look at the possibility of reintroducing rear spoilers for the 2010 season.”
Richard Petty Motorsports driver Elliott Sadler also told Sirius Speedway that NASCAR was considering several options to rectify the airborne problem and replacing the wing wasn't necessarily a move to rectify the issue.
"They've come up with some different ideas on the roof flaps and rear windows to help keep these cars on the ground," said Sadler. "There was nothing said about losing the wing, but NASCAR is definitely interested in doing whatever they can to make this deal safer."
NASCAR president Mike Helton told SNR's The Morning Drive earlier this week that the sanctioning body was also working on other initiatives that would be unveiled before the season opened and that "fans will very much welcome and make for even more exciting racing."
Speculation is the removal of the no passing below the yellow line rule at Daytona and allowing drivers to once again bump draft through the corners are the two policies under consideration.
An official confirmation is expected to come during the annual NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte the week of January 18th.