NASCAR makes rule changes for road courses, many tracks 1 mile or less NASCAR suspends pit crew members for wheel coming off car Kyle Petty Charity Ride scheduled to visit Nevada, Utah NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch roars into first place Winners and losers at Auto Club Speedway
NASCAR announced Tuesday that it will make changes to the Cup car for road racing and most races on tracks 1,058 miles or less.
Changes tested at Phoenix Raceway in late January and confirmed on February 13 in a wind tunnel test include a 2″ spoiler (versus the current 4″ spoiler) and the removal of three diffuser bars and engine panels. The changes are expected to result in a 30% reduction in downforce.
Eric Jacuzzi, NASCAR’s vice president of vehicle performance, told SiriusXM Speedway Tuesday that diffuser strips are parts that hang from the center of the diffuser under the car. He said NASCAR would remove three of the five diffusers. Jacuzzi said that the engine panel trim is metal pieces that stick out behind the front wheels and create front downforce.
The changes to the car have been made after Cup drivers complained last year about the difficulty it had on many short track and highway circuits.
MORE: NBC Sports NASCAR Power Ranking
Changes will be made at the following locations: Charlotte Roval, Chicago Street Course, Circuit of the Americas, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road, Martinsville, New Hampshire, North Wilkesboro, Phoenix, Richmond, Sonoma, and Watkins Glen. These are all trails with a wet weather package (rain tires, wipers, etc.).
The rules will not apply in Bristol or Dover, which are not included in the rain package. If Bristol and Dover were added, there would essentially be four different sets of rules: intermediate courses, super courses, short courses/road courses with wet weather equipment, and short courses/road courses without wet weather equipment.
With the rule change debuting in Phoenix, cup teams will get a 50-minute practice on March 10, two days before the cup race.
John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Director of Race Development, said of the rule changes: “We have seen incredible racing throughout the 2022 season, especially at intermediate racetracks. Our goal is to achieve the best results wherever we race, so during the off-season we started working on adjustments to improve the quality of racing on short and road tracks.
“Adjustments will be made to the car that will result in a significant reduction in downforce, and based on driver feedback and what we saw at the Phoenix test in January, we are pleased to see the results of these efforts.”
NASCAR suspended tire fitter Danny Olshovi and driver Kellen Mills for two races due to a blown tire. Martin Truex Jr.car during last weekend’s cup race at Auto Club Speedway.
They will both miss the cup races in Las Vegas and Phoenix. They will be eligible to return March 19 in Atlanta.
Last year, crew members and a crew chief were suspended four races each for infractions, but NASCAR changed the rule in the offseason.
The penalty to crew members this year was reduced to two races. In addition, the crew chief is no longer penalized unless he is one of the two crew members responsible for fitting the blown tire.
Also this year, if a car comes off a wheel while the car is still in pit road, the car will restart at the end of the field. If a wheel comes off the vehicle while it is in pit road under green flag conditions, it is a drive-thru penalty. Any vehicle that loses a wheel after exiting pit road will be penalized two laps.
Truex served a two-lap penalty during the race as a wheel came off after he pulled off pit road. He played both laps and finished 11th.
Kyle Petty’s annual charity trip across America is scheduled from April 29 to May 5 in Nevada and Utah.
Petty, a retired Cup Series racer and NBC Sports NASCAR analyst, will lead more than 125 motorcyclists on a seven-day, 1,500-mile ride, a journey that raises funds for Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp for children with chronic diseases. The Petty family built the camp in honor of Kyle’s son, Adam, who died in a 2000 New Hampshire motorway crash. This is a 27th anniversary trip.
The trip must start and end in Salt Lake City, Utah. Riders will visit Ely, Tonopah and Las Vegas in Nevada, as well as Cedar City, Moab and Salt Lake City in Utah.
Along the way, riders plan to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Las Vegas Speedway, Capitol Reef National Park, and the Legends Motorcycle Museum.
MORE: NBC Sports NASCAR Power Ranking: Kyle Busch – No. 1
“Nevada and Utah are my two favorite states to ride motorcycles,” Petty said in a statement. “Great landscape changes – from desert to red cliffs to mountainous terrain – paint the most vivid and breathtaking scenes that I think are best experienced on a motorcycle. … The ride allows me to combine my passion for helping others with my love for motorcycles and it is such a special gift.”
Among those planning to race are drivers Richard Petty, Ken SchroederKenny Wallace and Max Papis, former football star and senator candidate Herschel Walker and NBC Sports broadcaster Rick Allen.
To learn more about Kyle Petty’s charity trip, see visit the site of the attraction.
Kyle BushRichard Childress’ solid victory in Sunday’s Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, following his strong performance in the Daytona 500, propelled Richard Childress to first place in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Busch led the final 21 laps on Sunday and was almost three seconds ahead of the runner-up. Chase Elliott at the finish. In just his second points race with the RCR, Busch showed what the Chevrolet team could have ahead of them.
Joey Loganofirst place in the rankings after Daytona, dropped two positions to third place.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Ranking
1. Kyle Busch (#2 last week) Bush’s expectations for his new car were high. He quickly verified the No. 1 victory with RCR.
2. Ross Chastain (#5 last week) — Chastain won the first two rounds of Auto Club Speedway on Sunday and led a race-record 91 laps. Trackhouse Racing looks cool from the gate.
3. Joey Logano (#1 last week) – After almost winning the Daytona 500, Logano made a slight mistake at Fontana and drew complaints from other riders about his role in the reboot, although he said he did nothing wrong.
4. Chase Elliot (Unranked last week) – Elliott had a frustrating Daytona 500 experience but rallied at Fontana, chasing winner Kyle Busch into the final laps.
5. Denny Hamlin (not ranked last week) “Hamlin was leading the Auto before and after…