Race Weekend Central

Kickin’ the Tires: Another Aero Package Debut, Now What?

A week ago, NASCAR unveiled a low downforce aero package at Kentucky Speedway. This upcoming weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a new high-downforce package will be the exact opposite – but the question is: will it produce the same type of exciting results?

The hope is to slow the cars down to make the racing more exciting. As I have espoused for weeks, there isn’t anything “wrong” with the racing action. Could there be more bumping, banging, passing and lead changes? Yes. But I’m so warped on racing that I get a kick out watching my wife’s two chickens run across the backyard to see which one can get to the bird seed treats they love so dearly.

Racing is racing.

Many of the drivers want a low-downforce package because they believe it will put the control back in their hands. Newsflash for the drivers, they are already in control. They are the ones sitting behind the wheel and they are the ones that can decide whether to take a chance on making a pass, or not.

The driver are also part of the reason the sport is in the position it is in today, because some of them wanted cars that were easier to drive. I would be remiss not to point out that some of the drivers weren’t happy with the handling of their cars at Kentucky.


Well, the cars weren’t easy to drive. They didn’t handle well and some drivers and crew chiefs had trouble getting their set-ups right. That made for a rough night on the track.

Looking forward, the odds are pretty good some of the drivers won’t be too excited with the way their cars handle at Indianapolis, either. If you ask Carl Edwards, he wants the low downforce aero package, but others want something different.

What I think NASCAR is doing, is trying to find a happy medium that will help increase the passing and assuage the criticism from drivers not happy with their current situations. And if you are wondering whether NASCAR will implement a new aero package in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, the answer is probably.

Despite what some believe, NASCAR has not completely ruled out changes in the Chase. In fact, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said, “our position today is that these are the race packages and this is kind of where we’re at for ’15, but as those conversations take place over the next couple weeks, that could change.”

The bottom line is that NASCAR will never please all of the drivers in the garage, regardless of the aero package it comes up with. The same holds true for some of the fans – many of whom think they have all the answers to what will fix the sport. I give credit to NASCAR for trying to make everyone happy and still putting on exciting races.

About the author

Jerry Jordan, is a two-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) award-winning writer covering the world of NASCAR. He is the founder, editor and radio host of Kickin' the Tires, which is a motorsports media outlet focusing primarily on NASCAR.
The goal is to bring visitors a behind-the-scenes look at what's happening in the sport of NASCAR through the printed word, in pictures and with audio from the who's who of NASCAR.
Each week, Jordan's award-winning Kickin' the Tires syndicated column is featured first at Frontstretch.com, and then published in print publications covering Southeast Texas and on the Kickin' the Tires Web site.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

When a car can’t get close to another cars back end before losing all frt grip there Is A Problem With The Racing…We just watched a 1 mile track(less speed =less down force) on Sunday where we were pretty much(except for restarts) follow the leader again…Dull…Let the drivers Drive the Dammm Things..Note: The crew chiefs (all were guessing at Kentucky) will figure out the set ups with some time..I would also advise Nascar & NBC to worry about what the fans want before this is a local attraction only


Bang on, Earner. The race at Kentucky was very different than what we’ve seen at the cookie-cutter tracks. A faster car/driver had a better chance at passing. Not that the passes were all easy. But, at least they could drive up to the car in front of them. Before they lost the front end long before that point.

I would like to see far more downforce removed from the cars. Go back to mechanical grip and you have racing.


” As I have espoused for weeks, there isn’t anything “wrong” with the racing action.”

Really? Does the author of this article get excited watching paint dry?

Did you happen to notice the 7 people in the grandstands, they are empty for a reason. And
they’ve already taken out almost 30,000 seats…



in my opinion, the drivers have it too easy. Been that way for a long time. I applaud Nascar for making these cars tougher to drive. If the drivers can’t handle it, they can always get a real job like the rest of us. It will also give a much better indication of which drivers can actually wheel a race car the best. Isn’t that what racing is supposed to be about? And like someone said, any time there are changes, the crew chiefs typically figure it out over time.

Share via