"Not sure yet how that affects things": Kyle Larson voices uncertainty regarding NASCAR's new aero package 

NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 - Practice
Kyle Larson ahead of 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 - Practice (Image: Getty)

Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson has expressed hesitance regarding the impact of the latest aero package update in NASCAR's Next Gen Cup car.

NASCAR introduced a brand new aero package during the practice session for the upcoming Cup Series race in Phoenix, the Shriners Children’s 500.

The recent aero package update, unveiled during practice sessions leading up to the Phoenix race, aims to enhance performance in traffic by altering key aerodynamic components of the cars. Notable adjustments include a simplified rear diffuser, fewer vertical strakes, the elimination of engine panel strakes, and a reduction in the spoiler size by three inches, all intended to reduce downforce.

The overarching goal of these modifications is to promote closer racing and improve the ability of trailing cars to maintain position and close gaps without sacrificing momentum. To facilitate adaptation to the new package, teams were granted an extended 55-minute practice session to evaluate the cars' performance in traffic and gauge the efficacy of the changes.

However, despite NASCAR's efforts to usher in a more competitive and dynamic racing environment, several drivers, including Kyle Larson, remain uncertain about the tangible effects of the updated aero package. The Hendrick Motorsports driver and former Cup Series champion spoke to the media after the practice race where he said (via Autoweek):

"Not sure yet how that affects things, if that changes the racing much or not."

Chase Elliott resonates HMS teammate Kyle Larson's feelings about the new aero setup

Kyle Larson's teammate Chase Elliott expressed similar skepticism regarding the updated aero package. He said:

"I forgot they did anything until they started talking about it afterwards. I don’t see it really changing a whole lot. I could be totally wrong, but I don’t think it’s going to change much."

Meanwhile, former Cup champion and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. did not feel any difference between his Toyota's performance compared to that of last campaign. He said:

"The teams engineer everything, make the car as close to balance as they can. So I felt exactly like I did here last fall. We need a good chunk to be a winning car, but we will make adjustments and see, but as far as feeling different from past times here, not really."

It is worth noting that six drivers, including Kyle Larson, and reigning Cup champion Ryan Blaney, participated in the two-day test at Phoenix in December with the new rules package.

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