CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney says it’s better that NASCAR would test new aero rules in an exhibition race because the drivers are, “just going for a million dollars.”
During his media availability at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier today, the driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford was asked how the results of testing changes to the aero package would turn out in a non-points race versus a points race as NASCAR did last season at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway.
“I think the reason why NASCAR wanted to do it in this race rather than a points race like we did last year was to just try it out and really kind of throw the teams a curveball when it doesn’t really have any points implications,” Blaney said. “You’re just going for one million dollars. I’m not saying you’re just going for one million dollars, it’s one million dollars, but I think it’s just better than throwing it out there in a points race. I don’t want to say it’s a test session, but it’s almost that way being a non-points race and everything like that.”
NASCAR announced changes to the aero package for the All-Star Race. The changes include a reduction in the number of brake cooling fans cars can use, welding the trailing arm of the rear toe and setting the rear toe to zero at the start of the race.
The brake cooling fan reduction is in response to teams using fans not to cool the brakes, but to suck air from the bottom of the car to increase downforce. The rear toe has been set to zero to reduce the amount of side force the cars generate. It’s only in place for this race.
The welding of the trailing arm, however, will continue for the remainder of the season.
“I think NASCAR is always trying to make improvements to racing, and they did that this year with the aero package, and I think they’re gonna do it this week with less skew package and the new rules package,” Blaney added. “The main point is just trying to slow these cars down in the middle of the corner. That makes for better passing, it makes more mechanical grip. You’re always gonna be relying on aero – always. I don’t care if you’re going 70 miles an hour, you’re always gonna have aero troubles and it’s not gonna be as good behind a car. But the more that we can do to try to put more mechanical grip in it and make aero not as big of an issue, the better it’s gonna be.”
NASCAR has not announced whether the other two changes made will be used again next season.