By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
HAMPTON, Ga. – One of the most outspoken advocates for removing downforce from the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, Carl Edwards expects the sanctioning body’s move in that direction with the 2016 rules package to have a profound effect in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (1 p.m. ET on FOX).
The combination of low downforce and a bumpy, abrasive racing surface should be a recipe for exciting, strategic racing in the first open-motor event featuring the 2016 rules.
“I think you’re going to see some good racing,” Edwards said. “I mean, this track is just perfect. There are three, four, five different grooves. The tires are falling off. The rubber lays onto this track really nicely, so that it changes. If you’re running in a groove, five or 10 laps later there might not be grip there, so I think you’re going to see that.
“I think strategy is going to be a big part of it. I think the other thing that this track’s going to bring out – it’s just going to be a tough race. It’s going to be tough to stay focused, to manage your car. You see guys out there really struggling – myself included. You hook the apron, car whips sideways.
“You’ve got to really stay on top of it. It’s like a big dirt race. It’s just really fun, so I think it will be a race for the fans that watch it, just know that that whole time in these cars – even in practice – you are just driving the heck out of them, steering right just as much as left, so I hope everybody can see that. I hope that comes through.”
Image: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images