NASCAR

Despite wind, shorter spoiler removes aero push

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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Sarah from Lodi, Calif.: Did the new spoiler and softer tires do well in the terrible wind at California Speedway? Larry McReynolds: We don't know if the wind will still be there when we return for the race on Feb. 27 (2 p.m. ET on FOX). But when you run high speeds like these cars run at California #151 whether it's with this year's shorter spoiler this year or last year's taller spoiler — and you get winds like they had at last week's test session, it becomes a concern.
Speed Mail Larry McReynolds
Most of the drivers at California and Las Vegas were pleasantly surprised with the test results. The results have been good, and the sky did not fall as a lot of the competitors anticipated it would. Jeff Gordon was very concerned about the shorter rear spoiler, but after the second day at Las Vegas, he said he was happy with the results. When drivers ran up on the back of a car, they said there wasn't as much air packed behind that car in front of you as there used to be with the taller rear spoilers. If you were better than the car in front of you or you had better tires than they did, you could complete the pass which pleased drivers. I still don't know if I'm a fan of shorter rear spoilers, but when they shortened the rear spoiler from 2001 to 2004, we didn't hear as much about aero push as we did in 2003. With an even shorter spoiler in 2005, it appears that we're not going to hear about aero push at all at the higher-speed race tracks which would be a wonderful thing, especially at the Brickyard where it's so hard to pass.


FOX race analyst Larry McReynolds has more than 25 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, crew chief and broadcaster. He and his fellow Crew Chief Club members take you behind the wall at www.crewchiefclub.com.

"Larry McReynolds: The Big Picture" is on bookstore shelves now, or you may order your own autographed copy from www.DWStore.com.

Tagged: Jeff Gordon

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