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Editorial

Fans Suggest Alternatives to the Aero Package

 by Adam Sewell
May 15, 2001

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My previous editorial ĎIs the Aero Package Really to Blameí discussed the role that the infamous aero package plays in modern day super speedway racing. Since the Daytona 500 and the Talladega 500, NASCAR has been searching for other techniques to allow the cars and drivers to compete at itís two fastest 
tracks, while staying below the 200mph barrier. The feedback from that editorial provided some interesting and realistic suggestions on methods that NASCAR could use to improve the safety of racing at Daytona and Talladega.  Here are some of the responses I received from AutoRacing1.com readers:

Lee Cox stated that there are only three things that will keep the speeds in check: 1) the aero package, 2) the restrictor plates, 3) a smaller engine. Several drivers and car owners have stated an interest in a smaller engine displacement, while others have been skeptical because of the research and development of such a task. The cost of designing and building another engine has also been a concern. One of the biggest threats toward driver and spectator safety is the massive wrecks that result from the cars traveling in one big pack. 

Leo Dugan said maybe they should slow the cars way down instead of speeding them up. Before the cars developed into the aerodynamic missiles they are today, they were able to have unrestricted engines and still remain below 200mph. This was possible because the cars had an incredible amount of drag and very little downforce. Also, in that era, the cars were made from the stock sheet metal that was shared with their showroom counterparts. 

Mike Eads suggested that NASCAR should consider making the cars more stock.

Don Kimbell made the suggestion that the tracks should be modified and have the banking reduced.

Robert Meredith suggested that another step may be using the same body configuration on all tracks instead of having a Martinsville body and a Charlotte body.

How NASCAR will go about improving the safety and racing at Daytona and Talladega remains to be seen. Maybe they should try soft walls or soft cars. Maybe they should build better catch fences and take the restrictor plates off. Whatever the case may be, NASCAR should be careful to not do more harm than good.

What's your suggestion? 

The author can be contacted at dougb@autoracing1.com

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