Kevin Harvick celebrated Sunday’s victory at Michigan International Speedway sans-burnout after crew chief Rodney Childers told him not to burn it down as the No. 4 Ford was going to the wind tunnel.
Harvick’s winning vehicle is one of six cars NASCAR is taking to the wind tunnel this week for engine audits and to study data, data it will provide to all three manufacturers.
The sanctioning body selected two cars from each manufacturer; Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and the No. 2 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski (second place); the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Austin Dillon (fourth place) and No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Chase Elliott (ninth place); and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch (third place) and No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Denny Hamlin (eighth place).
“We try to find a track obviously where aero’s going to play a bigger role, so we took six cars – two from each OEM – and they’ll be in the wind tunnel,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said on SiriusXM Monday morning. “And our process is to share (data) that with the OEMs and the race teams. It’s a good barometer for us for two things — to make sure we’re still in that box set for the current year and probably most importantly, we look to lock in 2019, that the baseline that we’re using matches up with all the data that we have in the system.
“So, it’s a good check on both for not only ’18, but future race packages as well.”
NASCAR also took six cars into the wind tunnel after the race at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Elliott, Harvick and Busch were also included in that selection, along with Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano and Erik Jones.