NASCAR delivered the 2021 Cup Series rules package to teams on Thursday afternoon, and the most notable change involved which package will be run for the two races at Darlington Raceway next year.
At Darlington (scheduled for May 9 and Sept. 5), teams will utilize the 750-horsepower, low-downforce race package. In 2020, this package was run at tracks 1 mile in length and under and at road courses. The three races held at the 1.366-mile Darlington track in 2020 used the 550-horsepower package.
Cup teams will use the 750 horsepower, low downforce race package at the 1.366-mile track. It’s the package that’s been used this season on road courses and short tracks. Nashville Superspeedway, the 1.333-mile track being added in 2021, will use the same package.
The packages for the other new race tracks – Road America, Circuit of the Americas and the Indy road course – have not been decided on.
The 750-horsepower package will also be used on June 20 at Nashville Superspeedway for the first Cup race at that venue. With that change and addition, 23 of the 36 races will be run with 750 horsepower.
In addition to more horsepower, that package includes:
— A significantly smaller rear spoiler, which shrinks from an 8-inch height to 2.75 inches.
— The front splitter’s overhang measures a quarter-inch (down from 2 inches), with approximately 2-inch wings (reduced from 10.5 inches).
— Alterations to the radiator pan, removing its vertical fencing in an effort to reduce front-end downforce. The dimensions of the pan remain the same.
“We constantly review the race packages to try to put on the best possible racing for our fans,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president, innovation and racing development. “When we brought in the short track/road course package this season, Darlington was not part of it due to its unique size. We’ve been evaluating data from both race packages, as well as feedback from drivers, teams and OEMs and feel that the 750 hp/low downforce package best fits the track.”