Reports: 2015 Sprint Cup rules package expected to be released on Tuesday


It sounds like we won’t have to wait much longer before seeing what the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package will look like.

Lee Spencer of reports that the sanctioning body will release the rules package to teams on Tuesday. Additionally, Fox Sports’ Bob Dillner reported during this morning’s pre-race coverage that the teams would be on a conference call on Tuesday with NASCAR to discuss the changes.

Spencer reports that garage chatter about the new package has centered around a two-inch reduction to the rear spoiler, a sizable decrease of 125 horsepower, and different gear rules.

However, Dillner also mentioned in his own report that teams believe a change in the tire compounds may occur.

Last month at Michigan International Speedway, 10 teams each ran through six different aero configurations. Power optimization was also focused on during the session; USA Today and NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan reported that teams tested horsepower configurations of 850, 800, and 750.

The goal of all of this remains the same for NASCAR: Create a package that can improve racing on the series’ bread-and-butter intermediate tracks. While the Generation-6 cars have certainly had their moments, it can be argued that passing remains a general issue.

Following the Michigan test, several drivers expressed their hope to get a configuration with less downforce. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in particular was a very vocal supporter of a configuration run during the test that cut the downforce levels by 30 percent.

But while a smaller rear spoiler would give the drivers less downforce, it sounds like NASCAR is set to follow through on a horsepower drop for the engines, which currently churn out around 850 to 900.

NASCAR CEO Brian France hinted in April that such a change was coming, and a few days after, the sport’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., expressed his belief that a drop was inevitable.

An IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Talladega? Drivers have discussed it

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If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested in an IndyCar iRacing event on an oval, he might like the latest idea being kicked around by NTT Series drivers.

“I personally would want to run at Talladega, but I don’t think that’s an option,” Arrow McLaren SP driver rookie Oliver Askew told in a Friday interview about his simulation work for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “IndyCar drivers have a group chat with iRacing, and someone had the idea of running at Talladega, and I thought it was brilliant.”

It actually would be a throwback of sorts as a USAC-sanctioned race with Indy cars at Talladega nearly happened 40 years ago.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be running its second consecutive road course Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or streaming here).

Of the four remaining races in the six-race series, there’s a chance that three of them could be ovals: A Drivers’ Choice track April 11; a “Random Draw” April 18 and a non-IndyCar “Dream” track May 2 (the April 25 race will be at Circuit of the Americas).

ENTRY LIST: Who will be racing at Barber

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IndyCar drivers are voting on next week’s track, and the options include high-speed ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan Speedway.

A multicar crash at Talladega last October. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Talladega apparently isn’t on the list for next week, but surely it could be considered for a future race if it meant having Earnhardt in the field. The 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is a six-time winner at Talladega, and the NASCAR on NBC analyst’s family is synonymous with the 2.66-mile oval where his late seven-time champion father won a record 10 times.

“I hope he can make that happen,” Askew said of racing against Earnhardt. “I hope IndyCar can grant his wish on that.”

The addition of Earnhardt would fit well with an IndyCar iRacing Challenge that already features champions from NASCAR (Jimmie Johnson) and Supercars (Scott McLaughlin).

Will Power would like to see more of that.

“I think that would be great if we can get big-name drivers from other series,” Power said. “Getting a couple guys from Europe would be cool.”