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NASCAR Officially Reduces Downforce For 2020 Cup Series Short Track and Road Course Races

Well, after a subpar season of racing on short tracks and road courses — which used to be the spectacular race bread and butter for the NASCAR Cup Series — we knew something had to give. Tuesday, NASCAR made it official. They will be reducing downforce at short tracks and road courses in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020 in an effort to promote more passing opportunities.

“Our first and foremost core goal is to deliver great racing, and I think that we constantly evaluate the things that we do on the race track, however and wherever we need to, to improve that situation for them,” said John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development. “And as part of our normal ongoing critique of ourselves and how we’re doing, we just felt like this was a good opportunity for us to improve the on-track product at the short tracks and road courses.”

According to a post, the rear spoiler on the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series car will shrink from 8-inches down to 2.75-inches.

The front splitter over hang will also shrink from 2-inches to just a quarter of an inch. The splitter will have 2-inch wings, which also is a decrease from 10.5 inches.

NASCAR also announced alterations to the radiator pan, removing its vertical fencing in an effort to reduce front-end downforce. The dimensions of the pan remain the same.

The changes will affect racing at nine race tracks (all tracks under 1.1-mile in length and all road courses) in 2020, those tracks include:

  • Bristol Motor Speedway
  • Dover International Speedway
  • Martinsville Speedway
  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Phoenix Raceway
  • Richmond Raceway
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
  • Sonoma Raceway
  • Watkins Glen International

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

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