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Having a car that’s harder to drive might not sound like an ideal situation for a NASCAR driver, but most drivers actually prefer it.
A car that’s “worse” means it takes more skill to handle it, and many drivers prefer that to everyone relying on the car itself to take over.
NASCAR has changed a rule eliminating the post-race ride-height requirement, so now cars at Daytona and Talladega won’t have to meet a minimum height after races. That rule was only in effect at superspeedways last year, so now horsepower won’t be the determining factor for the race. Instead, drivers can rely more on skill since the cars will be looser.
Kurt Busch, who won the Daytona 500 last season, said when Daytona was repaved in 2010, there were no handling issues for drivers.
“The way the cars will be pinned to the ground, it’s the first time really that we’re looking at moving around nose weight and the balance of the car to adjust the handling,” Busch told the NASCAR Wire Service via ESPN. “We haven’t done that really here in Daytona for eight years. They repaved it in (2010), so since then it has been no handling issues whatsoever.
“I’m really excited about this time around to hopefully see what the tire wear shows and how the balance of the car will shake out with the ride height rule.”
As a result, fans will probably see looser cars during Sunday’s Daytona 500 as the handling won’t be as smooth. It very well could have an impact on the race as almost everyone in the field is now accustomed to running the race without many handling issues.
We’ll see if the change produces a better product, but it seems like it will be beneficial to most drivers.