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Poll: Darlington lower downforce is rules package NASCAR should move forward with

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500

DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of the frontstretch pressbox during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 6, 2015 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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The monthly Century Poll is out and the topic is rather timely: Which rules package should NASCAR move forward with?

Not surprisingly – or perhaps because it was used so recently – the lower downforce package used this past Sunday at Darlington was the top choice among 100 media members, team owners, drivers, crew chiefs, team members, sponsor/public relations/manufacturing representatives and track officials.

“Coming on the heels of a highly successful running of the Southern 500 at Darlington, the low downforce and purpose-built tire package received 45 of 100 votes overall,” according to a media release issued by the conductor of the poll, Mike Siberini.

“Of those that voted for the Darlington package, there was a combination of reasons listed by a good majority. (Those included) the low downforce put the drivers on edge just enough that their skill and car control were more highlighted, while the softer tire wore more and that brought in tire management and insured that the pit crews would come into play more often.

“Another common theme was that NASCAR could go even further with the reduction of downforce, opening up the opportunity for even softer tires. Several voters hailed the Darlington race as the most entertaining of the season.”

The second most popular choice (27 votes) among voters was a theoretical selection: a hybrid package that combines Darlington’s low downforce package with horsepower levels we saw in 2014.

The third and fourth most popular selections were different packages for different tracks (15 votes) and the low downforce/harder tire from the Kentucky race (10 votes).

All voters were given a choice of the seven options listed below (see complete voting breakdown).

Here’s the voting breakdown per choice, with the first number being members of the garage, the second number being media members and the third number is the total votes for that particular choice.

  • Low downforce/softer tire (Darlington) 19 26 45
  • Low downforce/increase horsepower 13 14 27
  • Different packages for different tracks 7 8 15
  • Low downforce/harder tire (Kentucky) 8 2 10
  • Go back to 2014 package 2 0 2
  • Standard 2015 package 1 0 1
  • High drag (Indianapolis/Michigan) 0 0 0

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