You may not find much sadness among drivers following NASCAR’s decision to scrap any potential plans of running the All-Star Race rules specifications in another race in 2018.
NASCAR said Thursday that it wouldn’t implement the rules in a points race this season. That announcement came less than three weeks after the sport said the rules — which reduced horsepower on the cars and manipulated airflow to help create a bigger drafting effect — could be used in as many as three races in 2018.
That’s not exactly bad news based on the drivers who took questions on Friday at Sonoma.
“I think that is a really good decision,” Kevin Harvick said.
“That is a great format to be able to do that and it showed promise but there is still more to learn … “I appreciated that we tried that and appreciate that it showed some promise for our future and also appreciate that what we have right now it just fine to be able to go for a championship and hopefully be a part of that with the 14 car,” Clint Bowyer said.
“I mean I’m happy that it’s not I guess happening this year,” Kyle Larson said. “I feel like we are pretty far into the season, so I think them kind of taking their time to evaluate a little bit more and maybe figure out ways to make it even better is good.”
Harvick noted how much the changes to cars for races with the All-Star Race rules would cost teams. The cars for the non-points race had restricted engines, larger spoilers and air ducts on the front of the car to change the airflow around them.
“If you go and spend what would probably cost – I am not even going to put a number on it – but it would be in the millions as to what it would cost each teams to turn that program around,” Harvick said. “If you started a season with a plan to say we are going to do this, the teams can take their budget and budget around things and be able to be prepared. NASCAR is in the same boat. There will be things that pop up from an inspection side of things that nobody thought of.
“At that point it will be about this guy doing this and nobody else has figured it out and we need to change the rule but we already made the rules. YOu have to be really careful about diving into something and not thinking about the reverse effect on things. It is about money at this particular point. You are almost halfway through the season and everyone is getting ready for the playoffs. it would be a massive undertaking for the whole sport. Could be right and could be wrong. You haven’t run a full race and don’t really know for sure.”
The All-Star Race specifications could be run in a 2019 race or races. The rules for next season have not been announced.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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