Exactly one month removed from when Ryan Blaney won the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series title, some of the sanctioning body returned where all the magic went down to conduct a two-day test at Phoenix Raceway in an effort to improve the short-track package for the upcoming season.
Blaney was one-of-six drivers to participate in the Phoenix test along with Chris Buescher, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson and Corey LaJoie, who were all chosen as representatives for their respective original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Like most all tests conducted by NASCAR, teams first established a baseline for what they sought to change by running the same short-track package and tire combination from the finale one month ago – a setup that derived from a similar test at Richmond Raceway in August.
Following the baseline test to start the session on Tuesday, aerodynamic modifications were made in the form of one alternate design each for the splitter and diffuser.
The final and most well-received experiment of the opening session was use of new Goodyear tires designed to create more fall off during green-flag runs to promote passing – something that’s been aggressively pursued for short tracks since the introduction of the Next Gen car.
Ultimately, NASCAR accomplished what they set out to achieve and that was to have a good sense of direction for where to go with the short-track package in relation to aerodynamics and tires leaving Phoenix.
If anything were to get implemented next season for the short-track package, it would likely be the simplified diffuser and a new tire combination based on response from the drivers.
See much more at Kickin the Tires.