NASCAR AMERICA: Analyzing the rule changes for 2015 (VIDEO)


2015 is going to look considerably different for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

No more private team testing. A reduction in horsepower. Less downforce. And maybe, just maybe, a Sprint Cup race in the rain (yeah, we’re excited too).

It will be very interesting to see who can excel under the new rules package that comes into effect next season. How will the lack of testing impact teams, particularly the smaller ones? And will the engine and aero changes yield the better on-track product that NASCAR wants?

Time will tell how those questions are answered. But NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell feels that the new package will serve as a solid starting point for 2015.

“I think we’re all about seeing more passing – more green flag passing on the race track,” O’Donnell told NBCSN’s Marty Snider today on NASCAR AMERICA. “We believe in that and we think this [package] will offer that to the fans…Each time we look at a race, we’re always trying to get better, so we’ll take what we can learn, apply that to ’15, and keep going on for ’16 as well.”

To hear more from O’Donnell on the new package, watch the clip above.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.