NASCAR Test Focused on 2014
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on October 14, 2013 | 3:39 P.M. EST
Trevor Bayne (21) and Brett Moffitt (55) race during NASCAR's test Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to examine changes for 2014. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
NASCAR plans to implement changes that work in Monday’s test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway into next year’s rules package, series officials said.
NASCAR spent the day trying a series of aerodynamic changes that included larger spoilers, a wicker bill on the roof and no minimum height requirements. NASCAR’s focus is on enhancing the racing at 1.5-mile and 2-mile tracks.
Six teams took part in the test. Each manufacturer had two teams test. No Chase drivers tested.
Ford’s drivers were Trevor Bayne (Wood Brothers) and Brad Keselowski (Penske Racing). Chevrolet’s drivers were Jeff Burton (Richard Childress Racing) and Jamie McMurray (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing). Toyota’s drivers were Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Brett Moffitt (Michael Waltrip Racing).
The session started about three hours late Monday after morning rain. NASCAR officials were confident they could get through what they wanted to examine and wouldn’t need any additional time after Monday.
The session was interrupted early when Moffitt spun off Turn 4 and down the frontstretch. He was running in a line with three other cars in the first multi-car session of the day. He did not hit the wall.
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development, said that series officials were looking at seven specific changes bundled in three different configurations Monday. He did not state what those changes were.
He and Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, said the changes were being tried after consulting with teams and competitors.
“There are a lot of good ideas out there from the industry, and we feel like moving forward we’ll have a better opportunity for next year for even better racing,’’ Pemberton said.
Stefanyshyn said they’ll review videos, consult with drivers and crew chiefs and check timing and scoring to see what changes work best and can be used for next season.
Will slower speeds be better?
“It could be,’’ Stefanyshyn said. “I’m not presuming to know the answer. We have some theories and we will learn from this information. We’re seeking the truth. We’ve heard some people say you need to go faster, we’ve heard some people say you need to go slower.’’
For changes that don’t work as well Monday, Stefanyshyn said they’ll look to make improvements and reconsider them for 2015.
Stefanyshyn said that the test is something that will become common each season help set rule changes for the next season.