NASCAR, race teams ready for latest rule changes

Cars, including that of Carl Edwards (99), were unable to go out on the track Thursday due to rain at NASCAR Sprint Cup auto racing testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Testing continues today.



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Even without running a single lap Thursday, NASCAR and its race teams left the Daytona International Speedway talking a lot about rule changes for the upcoming season – some that are in place and others that are coming.

Rain washed out the first of two scheduled testing days for the Sprint Cup Series and it provided the sanctioning body and teams plenty of time to think about what’s ahead for the 2014 season.

NASCAR president Mike Helton said Thursday changes are coming to the stock car series to create a greater urgency to win.

During a radio call-in show earlier this week, NASCAR chairman Brian France said he wants more “risk-taking and hard racing.”

“I would tell you, we are not satisfied that we have the exact balance we want with winning, consistency, points, running for a championship,” France said.

“We think we can make some tweaks to continue to incentivize risk-taking and racing hard. We’re looking at that. We’ll undoubtedly be coming with things that put the incentive on winning races and competing at the highest level.”

Teams received a technical bulletin in December on rule changes to the Generation-6 race car which debuted a year ago. Helton said other changes are coming – some which may deal with the car and others that could deal with qualifying and race day formats, as well as a different points system.

While offering more money for victories could be another solution, it still surprised some drivers.

“I race(d) just as hard in my little four cylinder modified car as I race now,” Carl Edwards said. “We’re racing as hard as we can.”

Kyle Busch didn’t like any suggestion of changing the point system that may lessen the severity of a bad finish.

“Yeah, it kind of doesn’t make sense,” he said.

The only change for the Feb. 23 Daytona 500 will be a half-inch increase in the size of the rear spoiler to 4½ inches. That should make the cars more stable and make it easier to pass.

Other changes will go into effect a week later at the Phoenix International Raceway involving suspensions.

Testing is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Friday.