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NASCAR reveals 2018 rules package for Cup cars 10/3/2017 Lee Spencer

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Aerodynamically, the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car won’t be significantly different from the version raced this year.

The rules governing the use of engines in those cars, however, feature important changes.

In a Tuesday morning release, NASCAR provided Cup teams with a 50-page document — broken down to 38 pages of explanations and the remainder featuring diagrams detailing the important changes for next year.

NASCAR will release the hard copy of the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series Rulebook on December 11.

For the first time, teams will be required to use the same engine in more than one race. Specifically, short-block sealed engines must be used in 13 races, meaning the engine block, crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods, pistons and oil pan are sealed for use in a second race. Teams can choose in which 13 races they will use the sealed engines.

For The Clash at Daytona and the All-Star Racing, teams will use a long-block sealed engine that has the same components as the short-block sealed engine along with cylinder heads and valves — pieces that are highly susceptible to failure.

NASCAR will enforce the single-engine rule at all events, including the Daytona 500. If a team is forced to replace an engine — no matter whether the failure occurs before first practice or after Happy Hour -- the car will start at the rear of the field for the event. Teams will no longer be able to carry engines in their backup vehicles. NASCAR is attempting to discourage teams from carrying three engines to the track.

The spoiler on next year’s Cup cars will remain at 2.375-inches tall by 61-inches wide. Each manufacturer will use a common flat splitter, radiator and oil cooler. The net rear steer will remain set at zero. NASCAR introduced this at the All-Star Race in May in an effort to keep team from reducing side force on the cars. With the exception of repaved and reconfigured tracks, NASCAR will set a one-rear gear rule for each race.

Due to teams’ continued work in the aerodynamics underneath the car, NASCAR has limited the number of fans located at wheel corners which are used to manipulate the air. The front sub-frame rules were also modified to reduce additional aerodynamic development.

NASCAR has eliminated ride heights at superspeedways. Through wind tunnel testing, NASCAR has discovered having the cars closer to the ground decreases lift-off speed by approximately 30 miles per hour. Teams will no longer have mandatory rear shocks or springs at Daytona and Talladega. The restrictor plates for the super speedways will continue to be 7/8-inch.

On the safety side, NASCAR will delay the introduction of the enhanced vehicle chassis (EVC) to 2019. Beginning in November, teams will be required to certify with EVC.

Despite the success of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway aero package in the Xfinity Series, NASCAR currently has no plans to use the same rules for Cup next season. According to a NASCAR spokesperson, the air ducts which were instrumental in the car’s success are not as easy to install on the Cup cars. However, it’s likely the Xfinity teams will use that same package at the Brickyard for 2018 and possibly at other venues on the tour.


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