New NASCAR rules package to be tested at MIS on Oct. 20


NASCAR has announced a base rules package that will be used during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

The base package will include a 3.5-inch spoiler, a 0.25-inch front leading splitter edge and a 33-inch wide radiator pan. These components will provide lower downforce on the cars, and Goodyear will develop tires to complement them. This package is similar to that used earlier this season at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway featured a similar aero package.

“NASCAR has worked tirelessly with our teams, drivers, manufacturers and Goodyear to develop a rules package that provides fans with the best racing possible,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The success of the races at Kentucky and Darlington in similar trim proved extremely valuable in accelerating rules development for 2016. Now, as teams have even more time to prepare and a strong baseline of data, we anticipate the racing to be even better.”

Characteristics of the lower downforce rules package includes more off-throttle time for drivers and decreasing corner speeds. This generates more passing zones over the entire track, and allows for multiple tire combinations to be levered.

In addition to the base package, each track will continue to feature specific rules, including tire combinations and drive train configurations, to create the best racing for each track length, layout and surface.

The Michigan base package for 2016 will be tested during a three-car test Tuesday at Michigan International Speedway. Drivers that day are Denny Hamlin (Toyota), Chris Buescher (Ford) and Chase Elliott (Chevrolet).

The teams will be working to find combinations to enhance the racing for two weekends at MIS.

“What we’re hoping to accomplish is, first of all, looking at the tire and getting the tire right, and the speeds in the corners, everything that we've looked at from a low downforce perspective,” NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said. “The goal is reduce the speeds in the corner, bring a tire that has more grip and more wear. We think we’ll deliver both of those, which ultimately produces great racing. So that’s what we expect to see in Michigan, and that’s the data we want to collect as we go out there for the test.”

Fans are invited to watch the test. The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for fans to watch the test free of charge.

Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances.

Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstand through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. Portable restrooms will be available. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand policies for race weekend.

Michigan International Speedway will host a pair of NASCAR weekends in 2016. The first of its two NASCAR weekends is June 10-12 with the Corrigan Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series on June 10; NASCAR XFINITY Series on June 11; and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on June 12.

The Sprint Cup Series will wind up its summertime stint at MIS on August 28 with the Pure Michigan 400. The Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 presented by The Cooper Standard Foundation & Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation is on August 27.

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