Denny Hamlin said Monday that a trio of recent and upcoming NASCAR rules changes was the result of the sanctioning body working with the NASCAR Driver Council to slow the Sprint Cup cars in the middle of the corners.
Slower corner speeds, in turn, should promote more passing in the corners and better, closer racing.
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NASCAR’s three rules changes are:
— Truck arm mounts in the back of Sprint Cup cars now must be welded in place.
— Starting with Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (FS1, 7 p.m. ET), electric brake fans are now illegal.
— For the All-Star Race and Sprint Showdown only, teams will have to set initial static rear toe to zero degrees.
All three of those changes should work to reduce either aerodynamic downforce or sideforce.
"I think the rule changes have to come with the Driver’s Council having some influence with NASCAR. We’re trying to achieve really the same goals," said Hamlin. "Right now between NASCAR, the (Race Team Alliance) and the Driver Council we’re all trying to reduce corner speeds," said Hamlin.
And that is a mission-critical priority to produce better racing.
"We’ve got to slow these cars down," said Hamlin, the defending winner of the Sprint All-Star Race. "All groups recognize that. We’re trying to do it in the most cost-effective way for the race teams. This is something that’s been going on for quite a while, of just continued effort to give the fans the best racing on track as possible."
Hamlin cited the dramatic finish at Dover on Sunday as proof that the low-downforce package is the way to go.
"We saw a great finish, the last 25 laps this past weekend," he said. "I think fans are going to get more and more of the same going forward as long as we continue to reduce the downforce. We’ve come up with a great package, but we just can’t settle with that. Let’s just keep trying to get more. That’s what we’re doing this weekend."