By The Numbers: More Down Force At Bristol Didn’t Matter, Good Racing Is Good Racing

Last year’s Bristol Night Race was potentially the best Bristol race in the last 20 years. It had everything you could want for when looking for a good race. This year as Bristol approached many wondered what the 2019 high downforce package would do at Bristol. Brad K said we would see insane speeds through the corner. He wasn’t entirely wrong.

After Ryan Blaney set a new track record in round 2 of qualifying many people, myself included, moaned that this would make Bristol bad. Cars going too fast in the corners generally strangles passing opportunities. Kyle Busch warned us Saturday that we would see drivers complaining about aero at Bristol. Thankfully he was wrong.

Sunday’s Bristol race was only a tiny tiny step down from last year’s fall race. What we saw Sunday was phenomenal racing. The high line worked, the low line worked, hell even the middle worked. Check the numbers real quick.

Sunday’s race featured the most lead changes over the last 6 spring races. More quality passes (green flag passes in the Top 15) and they did this with the second-fewest caution laps. Side note NASCAR should be commended for the minimal use of caution laps, that never happens. Outside of that all of this happened on track. Unlike last week and other races this year that featured green flag pit stops, Sunday did not.

Green flag passes were pretty standard, 2016 and 2014 are certainly the anomalies on the table. For the most part, the 2019 package likely played no factor in Sunday’s race. Bristol produces good racing regardless of the package. NASCAR needs more short tracks and they need them desperately. If the racing remains good the fans will come. Even if it didn’t look like it on Sunday.

Will we say the same thing next Sunday after Saturday night’s race at Richmond? We’ll see.

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