The All-Star Race was entertaining. We said that in the hours after the race Saturday night and we still believe it now. While Kevin Harvick led the last 11 laps, the race was a nice change of pace from regular Cup Series racing just like an All-Star event should be.
But because the All-Star Race was entertaining, some immediately started clamoring for the rules changes NASCAR made for the race to be tried at some point in the near future for a race that counts. Matt Kenseth, who started on the pole for the All-Star Race, said Thursday that the clamoring should come with some caution.
“You’ve got to be careful about taking that little bit of a sample size and saying this is gonna be the greatest thing ever because we’ve all seen that and when you take a rules package and give it to the garage and let them work on it for a month or so, I think you’re gonna have things looking very similar to how they looked before you changed that,” Kenseth said. “I think the [current standard rules package] low downforce thing is a good example of that. I think the racing, in my opinion even from being home this year, has been really, really, really good and really entertaining, and still about driving race cars and not just doing restrictor plate racing and being in line and doing all that kind of stuff. I thought it was entertaining. I thought it was a good thing to try. I don’t know if it’s necessarily what I would want to see us run on a weekly basis, but it’s okay.”
Brad Keselowski aired a similar word of caution after he was caught up in a crash in the third stage of the All-Star Race. And NASCAR executives were pragmatic after the race was over.
“You don’t want to assume that what you put on track is going to be a home run,” NASCAR vice president Steve O’Donnell said Saturday night. “We certainly hoped it would be, but there’s certainly some things that you look at that you could tweak if you went this route.”
“For us, we’ve got to take the time, be smart about this, really look at it, see where we can go from here. But I think it’s fair to say that this is something we absolutely want to look at.”
Denny Hamlin said earlier in the week that he wouldn’t be opposed to trying the All-Star Race rues package at some point later this season. To do that, NASCAR owners would have to agree to testing the changes again. They cost a lot of money — like six figures — and were paid for by teams.
“Anything that is good for our sport right now, which I think it would be, I’m for it,’’ Richard Childress said to NBC Thursday. “I’m putting RCR aside and looking at the sport itself. If everybody in this garage will do that … put the sport first and we all go out and put the best show for the fans in the stands, that’s what we’ve got to do.’’
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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