Handling will be under the spotlight in the wake of new rules introduced at Kentucky (Getty Images Photo)
SPARTA, Ky. - New rules introduced this weekend at Kentucky Speedway have the garage split on how much they will impact Saturday night's Quaker State 400.
Higher side skirts and a change to how team's can set the angle of the rear sway bar greeted everyone this weekend when they rolled into Kentucky. Although there has been practice time already in the books, it's unclear to many just how much a role the changes will have in race conditions.
"Very curious to see how that resets the competition from a speed platform," said
Keselowski contends the new sway bar rule has the potential to throw a major curveball at a number of teams.
"It was certainly worth some speed," said Keselowski. "Those teams deserve the credit for develop those parts and making them work. NASCAR felt like they were outside the intent of the rules, obviously, by creating a rule specifically to stop it.
"They didn't do anything illegal, they just took advantage of the rules as they stand and found some performance."
Finding the edge of what was previously allowed in the sway bar rule package was not illegal as Keselowski points out. However many believe the path some teams were headed down was not in the best interest of the sport.
"Like I said last week, I think that a lot of teams had started to develop that particular method of using the sway bar and the trailing arm and everything that went into that whole process to make the car have more skew," said Kevin Harvick. "I think as you looked at the cars that had been doing that I think they had been doing it for several weeks and found a lot of speed with that. We had a lot of speed and were trying to catch up and had spent some time in developing parts and pieces to get to that.
"It was just going to keep evolving from there. I think NASCAR just decided to stop it before it got out of hand."
While Harvick and Keselowski are among those who believe the story is a significant one, not everyone agrees the issue was anywhere near a critical point.
But Carl Edwards agrees with the direction NASCAR is headed with the process.
"I don't think the cars are much different," said Edwards. "This track makes it hard to tell because it is so bumpy. They are going the direction I like. They can knock the rear spoilers off them, cut the splitters off the front, raise the car three inches and I am happy.
"The less downforce we have the better. I think NASCAR is going the right direction trying to get the cars so we can pass, race closer and even though this car will be gone soon I think any of those changes that take aerodynamic forces away from this type of racing will be good for NASCAR and I appreciate them going that direction. I think it is cool.”