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NASCAR VP: 2015 Sprint Cup engine package to be revealed before All-Star Race

Apr 24, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT 400 Getty Images

NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations has said that a formal announcement on engine changes for the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season will come before next month’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Today at a sponsor summit for Iowa Speedway (which had NASCAR become its new owner last fall), Steve O’Donnell said that the final overall racing package for 2015 would also see changes involving downforce, aerodynamics, and tires.

This comes weeks after NASCAR CEO Brian France said in a SiriusXM NASCAR Radio interview that significant changes, including a likely reduction in horsepower, would be made in the near-future.

In additional comments to The Des Moines Register, O’Donnell said that teams have already been notified of where NASCAR was going with the changes and that the process of finalizing the 2015 engine package was underway.

O’Donnell wouldn’t divulge exact details of the package, but did perhaps show a glimpse of how drivers would have to adapt to it.

“If you combine the aero package with that [reduction of] horsepower [and] allow some aero changes with the engines going into the corner, drivers have to get off the gas and they’re able to maneuver around a little bit more,” O’Donnell said according to the Register’s Chad Leistikow.

“Combine that with Goodyear and a little softer tire, now you’re able to move around a little bit more.”

And while the engine has been the most talked-about aspect of this new package, O’Donnell also emphasized the importance of the tires, calling them “a big part of this.”

As you’d figure by now, the final goal is to boost the product on the 1.5-mile ovals, which make up the majority of the Sprint Cup schedule.

NASCAR rolled out a new rules package on the Generation 6 cars for this season, and while O’Donnell believes it’s helped the show on the 1.5-milers, he also noted that there’s still work to do.

“Brian’s talked about more and more lead changes,” O’Donnell said. “That’s the end goal.”

While the Cup Series has only visited two 1.5-mile ovals so far this year (Las Vegas and Texas), the first eight races have seen an increase in several averages compared to last year, such as number of leaders per race, green flag passes, and, yes, lead changes.

  1. theracefan - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    NASCAR needs to get out of the car engineering business and tend to getting fans back in the seats.Let the manufacturers build the cars and the crew chiefs tweak them France dabbles too much with the cars when should be dabbling with the high prices and empty seats. It is not the economy

  2. helpful55 - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    There is no way they are ever going to be able to get much quality racing, passing and action without removing nearly all of their downforce sillyness other than the rear spoiler. Several aspects to this, but when you make the cars so aero dependent they can’t race near each other without getting loose, that is if you can get near another car with its huge air disrupting wake. Also the first place car is going to continue to be able to stay there. No offense to the open wheel racers but I have no interest in having this kind of aero setup and go kart racing or a fancy skid pad which is about what it is now. nascar (france) is going to continue to try to “tweak” something that is broken. Also as usual nascar will not even tell us the fans, who are the most important part of the equation, any specifics of what they are considering. It is a secret. Why can’t we be told what possible changes are being tried?The fans are never considered properly. I’m hoping the RTA will help make serious changes to do what they want which is getting the racing back on track and fun. The aero crap is a huge expense to the teams and not necessary at all.

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