RELATED: Low downforce prevalent in '16 package | Fast facts on '16 rules
NASCAR and Goodyear officials, along with three Sprint Cup Series teams, return to Michigan International Speedway Tuesday to test a low downforce aerodynamic package scheduled for use at most venues where the series will compete in 2016.
Teams and drivers that will participate are: Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports; Chris Buescher, Roush Fenway Racing and Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing.
"The real key at Michigan is to see … what the top speeds are and understand that," Greg Stucker, Director of Race Tire Sales for Goodyear, said Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
"We (tested) low downforce at Michigan in 2014; had a test up there and had a number of different (aero) packages and low downforce was one of them. We were pretty conservative at that point. So we've got some data to go off of and we'll go back in the spring (of '16) to confirm."
NASCAR officials announced last week that a low downforce package, similar to the one used at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway earlier this season, would be put into play for the bulk of the races in 2016. The new base package will include a 3.5-inch spoiler, a quarter-inch leading splitter edge and 33-inch splitter extension panel (radiator pan). The changes will lessen the amount of downforce on the cars, similar to the changes made prior to the start of the '15 season.
"The success of the races at Kentucky and Darlington in similar trim proved extremely valuable in accelerating rules development for 2016," Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said in announcing the '16 package.
"Now, as teams have even more time to prepare and a strong baseline of data, we anticipate the racing to be even better."
Sprint Cup Series teams competed with a high drag package this year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the August race at Michigan. The changes, however, failed to produce the desired results.
Decreasing the area of the leading edge of the spoiler and radiator pan will lessen the amount of downforce on the front of the cars while a shorter spoiler will similarly impact rear downforce.
The current 2015 aero package, which will continue to be used in this year’s events at Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead, consists of a 6-inch spoiler and 38-inch splitter extension panel.
No major changes are expected for the sanctioning body's superspeedway rules package, which will be used at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.
Tuesday's test is expected to consist of individual 10- and 25-lap runs in morning and afternoon sessions.
According to Michigan officials, the Turn 1 grandstand seats will be open for fans with no admission charge.
Weather conditions for Brooklyn, Michigan, on Tuesday call for a 10 percent chance of showers before 8 a.m. and a high near 69 degrees.