RICHMOND, Va. — Opinions were split this week before Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway about a NASCAR technical bulletin aimed to take control of rear suspension development.
Most drivers believed the bulletin was aimed directly at Hendrick Motorsports, which had found a way this season within the rules to improve the rear steering on their cars.
Most teams followed and began doing variations of the same thing.
“A lot of people are focused (on) thinking that it is just Hendrick or big teams that have been working in this area,” said five-time champion Jimmie Johnson. “I was in a conversation with Phil Parsons last week, a smaller team, they have been there, been doing this for a while they have adjusted. The field migrates quickly in certain directions and I think NASCAR is just making sure that people understand the parameters so that they can regulate in post-race and find ways to make sure no one is going above and beyond.”
The bulletin limits how far teams can go with their rear suspension setups, which were being adjusted by teams to help the car’s rear-axle steer.
TEAM-BUILDING: Crew chief Steve Letarte will play host to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 team at his home today in what could be a day of fun for the Chase-bound team.
But Earnhardt indicated there will be some work to do.
“The team is going to get around each other and we’ll talk about the season we’ve had, what our expectations were,” he said.
“You’ll think about that all week.”
Earnhardt is off to ESPN on Tuesday for a full day of media obligations, and will be in Chicago on Wednesday when NASCAR plays host to its Chase kickoff. He knows he’ll be thinking about his season and the Chase a lot.
“We’ll be thinking about that all week,” he said. “The season we’ve had. The opportunity we have – that I feel like I have as a driver to win the championship. I’m pretty sure by the time the race is about to start in Chicago, the energy level is going to be about as high as it needs to be. Probably higher than it should be. You’ll probably have to calm yourself down a little bit just to realize that it is 10 individual races. And, you have to do your best in every single one.”