Saturday, April 28, 2012

Greg Biffle And Carl Edwards Discuss Owners And Aerodynamics

Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards discuss NASCAR's dearth of team owners and also the aerodynamics issues still affecting the racing.

My Take:  Biffle discusses the sport's lack of team owners with the aging of its Big Five - Hendrick, Childress, Roush, Penske, and Joe Gibbs - and the huge drop in number and performance levels of the few remaining teams under different ownerships. Biffle really doesn't break any insightful ground here; he makes clear he's not up for becoming a team owner in the future. I'd add that Kevin Harvick's decision to close his own BGN/Truck team shows the sport is reaching the point of pricing itself out of anyone's range.

Edwards discusses the aerodynamics of the racecars and rehashes the hoary old gripe that the cars shouldn't be racing with downforce, sideforce, and "all these aerodynamic devices" and of course advocates a softer tire. Problem remains that prescription has been a failure - taking away downforce etc. is a proven failure as is softer tires. Taking away downforce didn't make aeropush go away, it made it worse - the sport proved that in 1998 and also in the 2000s with John Darby's multiple changes to the cars taking away downforce; Dale Junior's talk late last year regarding eliminating tandem drafting centered on changing dirty air to a "beachball effect" - it's exactly what has happened on the intermediate tracks in the last decade-plus.

It's why the old roof rail remains something the sport needs to try not just for the plate tracks where it is a spectacular success but the other tracks - the story was back in January 2001 that NASCAR was planning to phase in the roof rail to non-plate tracks in 2002; it of course panicked after that 2001 season. Bigger spoilers also remain a necessity. I will say I'm coming around on the airdam as low to the ground as it is; the roof rail package allowed shaving of airdam to allow air under the car while keeping the nose firmly planted.

Edwards also delves into the point structure and the Chase format and shows anew how it has corrupted the integrity of the season.

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