NXS: Daytona – Weekend in the Rearview



A lower down force aero-package debuted last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, bringing racing that felt far more fluid than in years past. With a smaller spoiler, mirroring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, everyone was sliding around the track.

The most important thing I saw was how many more options drivers had. While drivers could try to latch onto the bumper of the car in front of them, the cars were squirrelly-er than ever.

One could say it was back in the drivers hands; now, of course it wasn’t last week at Daytona but this shows how dramatic the changes to the racing in the NXS will be this year – Atlanta will be a telltale track for the arisen season.

Praise be to lower downforce.

Side note: upon a scan of the internet NASCAR sure did a good job of burying the aero changes. After the improvements MENCS saw last year it’s hard to understand why this wasn’t promoted more.


No stranger to playing the Cinderella role, Reed wheeled his way into the most prolific victory lane in stock car racing for the second time in three years.

I’m not saying Reed was the car or driver to beat; Elliott Sadler was taking the predominately young field of drivers to his personal school of restrictor plate racing until he was wrecked in a third stage incident, but so goes the Daytona dice.

It’s not as if there was no one left to pass Reed either. He had to throw numerous blocks and was forced to side draft at every opportunity as the race wound through the final laps. One of the best NXS restrictorplate racers, Kasey Kahne, was hot on his tail for much of final stage of the race.

More than anything, this win will validate how hard Reed and his team have been pushing to get to victory lane – and not by way of surviving a last lap crash.


During qualifying for the Saturday race Austin Dillon’s No. 2 Camaro was found to have a substance on the walls of its tires. As penalty NASCAR retracted the tires and docked the team one set of tires for the race.

That was all.

Of course there were only five sets for teams all weekend so this would be a substantial issue at other tracks, but at Daytona – in my mind – this was a larger safety issue than it was competitive setback.

More than anything this increases the chances of Dillon blowing a tire and causing an unnecessary pile up. NASCAR is using a new penalty policy this year, one that reprimands teams during the same weekend they commit an infraction.

If you ask me, a team should be a hit a bit harder for tampering with a tire.

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