NASCAR just announced sweeping rules changes that will have a huge effect on 2019 races. This has been the biggest rules changes in years that will directly affect every single race expect for the 2019 Daytona 500.
The total effect of the smaller spacer, larger spoilers and splitters, plus aero ducts is expected to reduce horsepower and increase drag; this is extremely promising for NASCAR fans because NASCAR is attempting to make the races more competitive and have more opportunities for passes. NASCAR wanted to implement the rules changes for all of the Monster Energy Series races this upcoming 2019 season but it was too late to change the rules for the 2019 Daytona race.
“We wanted to keep the Daytona 500 as-is,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. “There was a lot of engine inventory already out there. Teams had already begun preparing for the 500, so we wanted to hold the line there for 2019. And then as we started the season again from a superspeedway standpoint at Talladega, going to that 550 (horsepower) tapered spacer, we think will produce exactly what we’ve seen in the past, the side-by-side racing that fans love. So certainly we’ll learn some things along the way, but believe you’ll see very similar styles of racing at those tracks.”
Generally, it takes teams months and months to prepare for new rules changes and make the appropriate adjustments for rules changes. It could take teams a while to adjust to the new rules and find their footing. It will be interesting to see how drivers will race now that there will likely be a lot more passing during races; the rules should shake up the competitive landscape and allow teams with less money a better chance to compete for big titles.
Taking the engines from 750 horsepower to 550 horsepower is going to be a big change that many of the teams and drivers will have to adjust to. But, the reaction from drivers has been very positive so far. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names in racing to see what they had to say about the new rules package.
“It is gonna intensify things for a big way for these drivers,” said Jeff Gordon on SiriusXM’s NASCAR radio on Tuesday. NASCAR is trying to make the races more competitive and they want to make the racers the main focus of the races once again.
“Nascar announced some rule changes for next season. Quite optimistic that this will be very entertaining, but mainly because of the drivers we have on the track today. The talented stars and personalities will always carry and elevate the sport, no matter the vehicle.” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Twitter.
“We want to run fast, I think any racer wants to, but I do want what’s best for the sport and the fans. You’re going to get a lot of different opinions no matter what you do, but that’s why you have the leaders of the sport. They make it fair for everyone and then we go race. I just care about winning.” said Bubba Wallace who just finished up his rookie season.
Marcus Smith, president of Speedway Motosports Inc, had this to say about the new rules, “Racing is all about entertaining the fans. The 2019 rules package is designed to create more side-by-side racing than ever before. NASCAR, the race teams and the manufacturers deserve a big thank-you for all of the hard work they’ve put into this process.”
These rules changes are great if you are a fan and at the end of the day that is who NASCAR needs to please. If they do not have any fans then there is no sport and no money. These are aggressive rules changes to attract younger and more fans to the sport and to try and make NASCAR even more entertaining. There will be some criticism but these changes needed to happen if NASCAR wants to continue to be one of the world’s premier racing sports.
You can check out a great infographic of the new rules below: