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10/18 2016

NASCAR unveils 2017 Sprint Cup Series rules package…”for this week anyway…says RR-AZ”   BY: MATT WEAVER

NASCAR officially unveiled the particulars of the 2017 Sprint Cup rules package over the past two days, first to teams and then to the media. While there is still much to learn, the early response was optimistic for what it could provide moving forward.
First the specifics.
Aerodynamic adjustments similar to those in place for summer races at Kentucky Speedway and Michigan International Speedway provided the basis for the 2017 package. However, slight modifications were made after those races:

— Rear spoiler dimensions for all non-restricted events will be 2⅜ inches x 61 inches. Current spoiler dimensions are 3½ x 61; for the Kentucky and Michigan races, the dimensions were 2½ x 53 inches.

— Splitter measurements for the 2017 package will be the same as those for the 2016 Kentucky and Michigan races, with a 3-inch reduction in the outboard (side) areas.

— A tapered rear deck fin

— Net rear steer setting of zero.

The changes are a continuation of the past two seasons, in which NASCAR has sought to decrease downforce and reduce speeds in the corner. This direction was heavily influenced by the Sprint Cup driver council, which wanted to see driver actions dictate the outcome of races rather than engineering.
In 2016, those changes reduced downforce from 2,700 pounds to approximately 2,000 pounds. Next year intends to reduce downforce by 500 additional pounds — settling in the 1,500-pound range.
“The objective there is to give the drivers, put the driving back in their hands a bit more … take less aero dependence off the car,” Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR senior vice president of Innovation and Racing Development, told NASCAR.com. “That’s the big thing.
“The amount we are taking off the front and the rear is the same proportion; we try to keep the balance of the car identical. So it’s been taken off in the same proportion to maintain the balance of the car as it was last year.”
This is exactly what drivers wanted to see, according to Sprint Cup veteran Carl Edwards.
“I believe anything we can do to take aerodynamic dependency away from these cars makes the racing better, makes it more fun and showcases the driver’s talent and the crew chief’s ability to change,” Edwards said. “That’s good stuff.”
Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson concurred.
“We are all wanting slower center of corner speeds,” Johnson said. “We all feel that will put on a better race. Directionally, that is the way the sport is going and I think the smaller spoiler is going to help us.”
Sprint Cup teams will test the package on Monday at Kansas Speedway following Sunday’s race. It’s worth noting that the premier series will have a new name next season, as a yet-unannounced sponsor will replace Sprint.
2017 RULES HIGHLIGHTS
Race Package

— Splitter reduced by 3″ in outboard regions

— Spoiler reduced in height to 2⅜” x 61″

— 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

— Restrictor plate reduced to ⅞”

— Vehicle weight increased by 20 lbs to accommodate structural changes

Tires

— Reduced tire allotment

— Start the race on tires used in qualifying