NASCAR: Testing drivers comment on rules change

Because his team was among several testing tires at Richmond International Raceway on Wednesday, David Ragan is hoping NASCAR doesn't have any plans to alter its short-track rules before the Sprint Cup circuit returns here in September for the Federated Auto Parts 400. "I think they've got a pretty good package when it comes to short-track tracing," said Ragan, who drives for Michael Waltrip Racing. "I don't think your aero package is as important as the fast 1½-mile racetracks. When you're at Martinsville and Bristol and even here in Richmond – it's a little faster – it's important to have your tires working together, your mechanical grip right. Aero is certainly important, but it's not as important as those big tracks."

"It doesn't matter who dominates the race," said Joey Logano, who was testing with his Penske Racing team on Wednesday. "A rules package isn't going to change that. … I'm not hoping for a rules-package change just to slow somebody down. That's our job to figure out how to make our car go faster and make sure we can beat them. If they change it, good. If they don't, I'm good either way. It's the same for everyone."

NASCAR originally aimed to have the rules changes in place for next season but sped up the process after talking to teams and racing industry officials. To reduce downforce for the Kentucky race, the height of the spoiler will be lowered, the splitter extension panel will be decreased and the splitter will have less overhang. To improve grip, O'Donnell said a softer tire will be used, although it's not specifically made for the new package. "I applaud NASCAR," said #19-Carl Edwards, who was testing at RIR for Joe Gibbs Racing. "NASCAR wants to make this the best sport they can for the fans. They want to make it the most fun for the drivers. Taking downforce off and making the cars hard to drive, in my opinion they're a third of the way where they need to go. They need to keep taking it off and keep making it better." Richmond Times Dispatch

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