DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR will turn to science, not gimmicks, to bring a greater balance among the manufacturers which should put outcomes back in the hands of the drivers, NASCAR CEO Brian France said Friday.
The sanctioning body will concentrate more on the competition side of the sport in the future, France said during his annual mid-season address at Daytona International Speedway.
By doing that, France hopes races will be closer with more excitement without adding any changes to artificially induce more competitive finishes.
“We’re going to use more science than we’ve ever used in getting those rules packages where we want them,” France said. “Even when we get them where we want them, they’re going to change. That’s just the nature of this business, the nature of the teams and so on.”
Track owner Bruton Smith said last week he’d like to see mandatory cautions and intermissions to keep anyone from breaking away from the pack.
The sport already has made several changes to spice up the action – double-wide restarts, wave around rules to allow cars on the tail-end of the lead lap to rejoin the pack and lucky dog passes that allow the top-running car one lap down to get back on the lead lap – but changing the flow of the race isn’t under consideration.
“It’s a very clear line to us: What we’re not going to do are gimmicky things,” France said. “I’ve heard we ought to throw a caution every 10 laps. That’s nonsense. We won’t do gimmicky things. But we’ll do things that incentivize performance, incentivize wins.
“Double-file restarts get us better racing action. Anything that gets something better on the track and doesn’t employ a gimmick, we’d be reasonably open to.”
TROOP SUPPORT: NASCAR and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. will use tonight’s Coke Zero 400 to kick off a program to salute U.S. troops.
Goodyear will have special tires with “Support Our Troops” branded on the side during tonight’s race. The official tire supplier for NASCAR also has conducted an auction and other charitable programs to donate $400,000 to soldiers and their families.
This year’s program also includes the creation of 5,000 care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas. NASCAR president Mike Helton was one of several racing officials Thursday who helped fill bags.