NASCAR likely to change gear rule before Daytona 500

NASCAR is still evaluating data from Sprint Cup Series testing at Daytona International Speedway, but it looks as if there likely will be a change in the gear rule when competitors return in February. Teams currently have a choice of a 370 gear or a 375 gear, but their RPMs are above what NASCAR is looking for.

A change in gear – likely a 364 gear – would reduce RPM. That would make the engines more durable. It could even make the cars faster.

"If we change the rule, we won't do it officially until all of testing is completed," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Wednesday during testing. "I think all of the teams are already anticipating a change. I know a lot of teams last week tried a 364 gear and a lot of teams here have got 364s in."

NASCAR would like to keep the RPMs below 9,000, Darby said. Darby said no one has reached 9,000 RPM.

"We're getting too close to that," Darby said. "The key to it is if 10 cars are drafting and they see 8900, when we put 43 out, they're going to be over 9000."

Darby said NASCAR is fine with the overall speeds, which have hit 188 mph in drafting.

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