Despite NASCAR president Mike Helton’s concern about Brad Keselowski’s airborne car Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, don’t look for a solution to flying stock cars in the short term, if ever.
While preventing cars from getting airborne is a worthy goal, the violence and unpredictability of NASCAR racing probably makes it unreachable, Cup Series director John Darby said Tuesday.
NASCAR president Mike Helton talks about the punishment for Carl Edwards and his concern about Brad Keselowski’s car getting airborne at Atlanta.
And Darby reiterated that the coming return of spoilers on the back of Cup cars was largely an aesthetic change, not a functional one.
“The one thing that’s very, very hard for us to deal with is there’s a huge difference between a car being lifted off the ground by air and being knocked up into the air by another car,” Darby said. “So the biggest roof flaps in the world or the biggest parachute in the world may not bring a car back to the race track once it’s catapulted up off the race track from the forces of another car.
“We can test and we can make additions and we can do everything we can to help keep the cars on the ground — a car that spins and turns and wants to come up, but the aero devices won’t let it. What’s hard to do is to displace the energy of a second car being involved and physically pushing the car up into the air.”
Earlier Tuesday, Helton promised NASCAR would develop a solution for cars prone to taking off and flying through the air during stock car racing accidents on its highest-speed race tracks.
Helton made his claims after announcing Carl Edwards would be on probation for the next three Cup races for intentionally spinning out Keselowski at more than 190 mph on Atlanta’s frontstretch.
With two laps remaining of the scheduled 325-lap event on the high-speed 1.5-mile track, Keselowski’s Dodge went airborne and flipped into the frontstretch wall following contact from Edwards’ Ford.
FOX Sports’ TV replays showed Edwards’ white-gloved hands moving his steering wheel to the right, turning his car into the back of Keselowski’s car, which caused the red No. 12 to spin backwards. The car immediately lifted into the air and turned over, striking the top of the wall, upside-down with the driver’s-side corner of the windshield “A-post.”(Continued)