Jeff Gordon has spoken out against the risk of NASCAR allowing too much technology into its racing.The four-time Cup champion says NASCAR has no need to emulate Formula 1.
"If you look at other forms of motorsports and the evolution of technology – and I mention Formula 1 – yes, we're behind them in technology and cost and all these things, and I think it's a good thing," Gordon said Saturday after a press conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrating DuPont's 20-year sponsorship of his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
"We're heading in that direction, because that's just evolution. It's going to happen. Once you learn, and you create knowledge, you can't take it away. In Formula 1, what's important? Qualifying. Qualifying becomes extremely important, because it's almost impossible to pass. Strategy, and how you strategize your pit stops. Speed of pit stops. And I'm saying that's the extreme. That's where we're headed."
In a question-and-answer session after his induction into the Hall of Fame on Friday night, eight-time champion crew chief Dale Inman addressed the current parity in NASCAR racing.
"It's hard to believe how sensitive these cars are, and my hat's off to them [current crew chiefs], because they've just about got them so fast they can't race them," Inman said.
Gordon thinks he knows how to keep the action in stock car racing, and his solution grew out of a successful test at Daytona earlier this month, where NASCAR experimented with smaller spoilers, larger restrictor plates and a reshaped shark fin running from the roof to the spoiler.
"I'm so encouraged right now after that Daytona test [with] that little tiny spoiler and seeing the speeds that we're running and the shark fin and the restrictor-plate that I'd like to see us get downforce off the cars in general," Gordon said. "If we don't start to do some of that, then we are continuing to head toward that direction of high-tech downforce cars that you don't see any passing.
"I think that, if we continue to add downforce to the cars, we're going to see less and less passing at the racetrack. The less downforce you have, the more passing you're going to see. If it works at Daytona, why can't it work somewhere else? I may be shooting myself in the foot by saying that, but I think it's something that we might need to look at."
That said, Gordon has no quarrel with the quality of racing in the Sprint Cup Series, which he thinks is excellent.
"I think our racing's still unbelievable," Gordon said. "There are still days when cars come from the back to the front, and that's because of our high-banked oval tracks. I think it's important for us to look at every aspect, from the track to the tires, aerodynamics, horsepower – all those things.
"But there's no doubt that the competition has been brought closer, and I don't think that's ever going to change. It's only going to get tighter and closer."
Source: NASCAR wire service