DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After gathering feedback from drivers, a NASCAR official has confirmed that the driver-adjustable track bar will be eliminated starting next season.
NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller revealed the impending change during a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Drivers have had the ability to make track-bar changes from the cockpit since 2015.
“Many (drivers) came to us and said, ‘hey, look this really didn’t do what we hoped for and we’d rather not have it,’ Miller said during The Morning Drive. “Part of the 2019 rules is that the cockpit-adjustable track bar is no longer in play.”
The device allows drivers to shift the track bar up or down, thereby adjusting upon and attempting to improve the car’s balance without having to make a dedicated pit stop for the adjustment. Adjustments could be made during practice, qualifying and the race.
Next year, track bar adjustments will move back into the hands of the pit crews, something Team Penske crew chief Todd Gordon said will not only change pit strategy somewhat, but will also “be good for racing.”
“It’s going to be complex for us as crew chiefs and crews. If you go back to before we had the driver-adjustable track bar, the track bar was another adjustment,” noted Gordon. “You could put wedge in with either one of the jack bolts in the rear window or you could run the track bar up and down with an adjuster there. We’ll have to go back to doing that, but we’re doing that with one less pit crew guy than we used to. It will be interesting to see how that happens.
“Right now, if I miss an adjustment or I went the wrong way on a wedge adjustment, the driver has the ability with a button to find his balance back with the driver-adjustable track bar. Next year, we won’t be able to do that and the drivers are going to have to hang on with a car that is not perfectly handling until we get another shot at working on it.”
Monday’s news follows on from the recent announcement of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rules package, which features more downforce and a tapered spacer that will cut horsepower down to 550 at tracks 1.33 miles and larger.
Shorter tracks will still see a maximum of 750 horsepower in use.