Harvick And Johnson Discuss NASCAR’s Most Impossible Issue


Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

If you ask any NASCAR fan they will most likely tell you that NASCAR has more than their share of issues that need to be fixed. Those issues range from quick fixes that could make an impact as soon as the next race or next season to issues that require more critical thinking and long-term solutions. Then there are issues that some feel NASCAR will never be able to fix. One of those impossible issues was recently discussed by six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and defending NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick.

More from Jimmie Johnson

Following the conclusion of the Sprint All-Star Race this past weekend both drivers further had their beliefs cemented in regards to aero push. In a recent article with NBC Sports both Johnson and Harvick discussed the issues with aero push and its impact on the sport.

Kevin Harvick

"I felt like I had options to run all the way up against the wall or I can run the bottom (in the All-Star Race). I could maneuver my car, he just caught me off guard at the right time and I was committed to the middle. Does anyone watch Formula One? It’s been there for years. It’s in IndyCars, it’s in racing. If you run behind one of your colleagues in this room, you’re going to have an aero push.I think these cars, over the last 20 years, have become more sensitive in aero push, and I think in the ’70s and ’80s, it was probably there, they just didn’t know. We almost know too much about everything that’s going on now. I could make my car run fast behind other cars last week, but it’s just a totally different way of driving a car when you’re behind someone than it is when you’re by yourself."

Jimmie Johnson

"We keep working on a variety of rules packages to try to make it better. I don’t think we have made it better at some tracks. I don’t think we have necessarily hurt it, but it is so hard to get around the brutal truth. The car leading has the best aero situation and the rest don’t. This rules package has not done that. But for 2016 there was a lot of hope that we were going that direction. It looks like that stuff has been tabled for now, potentially. So, the more wide-open percentage throttle you are running, it is just harder to pass. It makes the track narrower and it makes the air for the leader more of a premium.You have the real estate to do it in the center of the corner, but you can’t go anywhere with that run. I think this track is also not the best track for this current rules package. I think Atlanta, Texas; much wider, abrasive surfaces work better, put on a better show."

The reviews have been mixed when it comes to the quality of racing this season. In 2014 many felt that NASCAR made some strides in improving on the push situation. As a result, there was some pushback when they announced they would once again be tweaking the rules package. This season the new rules package has produced some excitement in Daytona but overall the quality has been down since 2014. NASCAR also has more changes coming next season which already has some drivers, teams and fans shaking their heads.

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