NASCAR fans had the chance on Sunday afternoon to witness the sport’s new downforce package during the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Along with feedback from drivers, the sanctioning body lowered the rear spoiler along with changes to the front splitter and rear deck fin. All in hopes of more straightaway speed and the ability to pass. It seemed to work perfectly.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Race Review
Cars were entering turn 1 at 216 mph, before backing it down to complete the corner. Restarts were exciting and made for some hectic jockeying for position. Most of the drivers interviewed after the race were delighted with the new package. Tony Stewart was all smiles, due in part to having a great qualifying effort and strong run all day. When asked simply said, “you could drive the car, love it, absolutely love it“. Carl Edwards also said he loved it, and that they are heading in the right direction.
One driver that was none too pleased was Dale Earnhardt Jr., after getting taken out by Chris Buescher and hitting the wall hard, grumbled that there was no difference in the new package. He later admitted on social media that he was just frustrated.
Once again the rookies seemed to shine. Ryan Blaney had a strong race and ran well before getting into the outside wall near the end of the race, but still finished in 17th position. Chase Elliott also ran well. Within the closing laps looked like the car to beat, and managed a 2nd place finish. After the race he was interviewed and was dejected, saying “you can’t do dumb stuff and win these races“. Most are in agreement that he was a little hard on himself.
Joey Logano was able to start on the pole and would win the race, now locking him into the playoff Chase. Rumor has it that this downforce package will debut full time next year, and here’s hoping that’s true. It was awesome racing from start to finish.