Less than two weeks after Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, expressed caution that the series would use the All-Star rules package again this year, NASCAR is looking at doing so in 2018.
Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that discussions about the package are ongoing with key industry stakeholders.
Miller told “The Morning Drive” that “I think we certainly … feel like it has a lot of potential for especially some race tracks.
“We did kind of have an industry stakeholders meeting after the All-Star Race and talked about a lot of different things.”
Among the topics of conversation was if to use the All-Star package in a NASCAR Cup points race this season.
“Before we totally commit to putting races on the schedule for ’19 … we all kind of felt it would be interesting if we could take another look at it somewhere this year,” Miller said. “Those discussions are ongoing. It’s certainly … a whole lot more complex than it seems on the surface with these teams and engine builders having these schedules and car builds and engine builds particularly down to a science. Anything we do to change that up effects a lot of things in the eco-system.
“We’re working with the industry to come up with a plan to potentially look at it again, but we don’t have anything etched in stone at the moment.”
The period of reflection might have gained more urgency following Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600.
In the 600, Kyle Busch was never seriously challenged for the victory. He led 377 of 400 laps, won each stage of the race by margins of his choosing and was passed only during pit sequences.
The rules package – designed to slow the cars, create additional stability and increase the drafting effect on the cars – drew mixed reviews from the drivers, but seemed to have support from the majority of fans.
NASCAR will implement a version of the rules package in the next two Xfinity races at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway. Both tracks also host Cup races during the next two weeks as well as later in the summer. Some engine builders are beginning to anticipate what it would take to use this package at the top level.
Pocono, Michigan, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are each raised as potential venues for the new package.
“I think that’s the feedback we’re going to talk about (this) week,” Gilmore said. “Where is the best place to do this, as far as scheduling. I think we all feel this is something we can do as far as reliability. I think the next thing is just scheduling.”
— NBC Sports —