Extra work required by new rules package a worthwhile sacrifice?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right) talks with crew chief Greg Ives.

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

I know to the race fan the changes that NASCAR has put in place at Kentucky Speedway in three weeks sound on the surface somewhat easy. You change the rear spoiler out, you change the radiator pan out and you change the splitter out. Seems pretty simple, right? The real trick, however, is for these teams to try and figure out how to put back as much as possible of that downforce being lost by these changes.

I was at a race team’s shop last week and they had their guys working Saturday totally on their Kentucky car. They were dedicating all their efforts trying to figure out what to do to overcome the changes that NASCAR is making in three weeks.

It’s a huge workload, but in talking to a number of teams, the attitude was the same — "if it helps the racing and helps our sport, then so be it." Obviously NASCAR and the teams are hoping this will help. If it does, then it will be something they will keep working with and refine.

Now I just have to tell you I heard a comment last week that the more I thought about it, well, the more I bought into it. It was mentioned to me that we might be at a point in our sport where "one size doesn’t fit all," and that we might need to run different rules packages depending on the tracks we go to. With the way the competition is and where we are in our sport, we may be at that point. If that is indeed the fact, I tend to believe everyone in the garage area would be OK with that if it makes our sport better.

So, yes, right now in the heat of summer and 15 races into the 2015 season it’s an added work load, but I get the sense from talking to these teams that everyone is willing to walk that walk.