Edwards, Keselowski, Kahne and others congrat Regan Smith and comment on their race in Darlington.
Michigan International Speedway employee for 27 years dies at 55 RELATED: Response to fire allowed NASCAR to finish race Duane Barnes, who drove the jet dryer that caught fire after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya during the 2012 Daytona 500 , passed away on Tuesday at age 55. For the past 27 years, Barnes worked at Michigan International Speedway, serving as chief "UNO 1" jet dryer operator, fabricator and heavy equipment operator. He also served as a jet dryer operator at other International Speedway Corporation tracks. With 40 laps to go in the Great American Race three years ago, Barnes was drying the track against the Turn 3 wall during a caution period when a mechanical malfunction on the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (now known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet) saw Montoya veer into the rear of the dryer. Following evaluation at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, Barnes was released. Two days after the 2012 accident, MIS issued a statement on his behalf. "I appreciate everyone for taking the time to write, call and ask how I am," Barnes said. "I am OK and I am amazed at how many people have wished me well. I am also glad Juan Montoya is OK, and thank him for his concern." An avid NASCAR fan and hunter, Barnes also enjoyed farming and gardening. He is survived by his wife, two children, four step-children, 14 grandchildren, his mother, two brothers, one sister, two nephews and one niece. On Barnes' passing, Michigan International Speedway President Roger Curtis issued the following statement: "Our condolences are with Duane's family and friends. Duane was a trusted, respected and most important part of our MIS family and the NASCAR community for almost 30 years, and we will miss him tremendously. We're a tight group, and I can only hope the wonderful memories of Duane will help comfort us and his family during this difficult time."
Logano has finished second to Kyle Busch twice this season MORE : Full race results " Updated series standings SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- There's no satisfaction to finishing second for Joey Logano . The disappointment weighs a little heavier for the Team Penske driver this time around. Logano, attempting to become only the second driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season, came up short. "You come to Indy, it's all about the win, either win or finish last," Logano said Sunday evening after finishing second to Kyle Busch in the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. "At least that's the way I race when I come to a racetrack like this." The 25-year-old had his chances as cautions regrouped the field three times within the final 10 laps. Logano was third, trailing eventual race winner Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) and Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) on a Lap-153 restart. He was still third when the field was reset after a caution for debris set up the first of two attempts at a green, white, checkered finish. And he was second, with a final opportunity, after a third yellow on Lap 159. Although Logano was officially scored out front when the final restart got underway, Busch managed to pull ahead shortly after crossing the line. Logano briefly closed the gap, but Busch held the position. "The worst part," Logano said, "is the same guy beat me the last two times I finished second. I'm glad he's back and all but geez … you don't have to come back like that. "We've been working our guts out all year and he comes right back and (is) doing it. … It's impressive what those guys have been doing, too. That's amazing, the run they're on." Busch, who missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races of the season after breaking his right leg and suffering multiple fractures to his left foot in an XFINITY Series crash at Daytona International Speedway, has won four of the last five Sprint Cup races, including the last three. Crew chief Todd Gordon said there was no gameplan for the final restarts, but he felt comfortable with where his driver was positioned. "We don't get to dictate the plan," Gordon said. "I thought the 4 (of Harvick) was a good car to have behind us (on the restart); we worked with him earlier in the day. Just need to find a little more speed. Our restarts were pretty good. We're getting closer, we can definitely see it, but we need to find a little more speed." Team owner Roger Penske has won a NASCAR championship, and his record in the Indianapolis 500 is sterling. But just like Logano, the wait for a Brickyard win resumes. "Obviously with the guy I drive for, he really wants to win these races and you don't want to let him down," Logano said. "I'm sure it stings for him just as much as it stings for me. "He's been coming here a long time and deserves to get a win here, and I wanted to be the guy and be the team to give it to him." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up quickly before the Brickyard 400, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra) RELATED: See the paint schemes for all 43 cars What : Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard Where : Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.5-mile oval in Speedway, Ind. When : Sunday, July 26; 3:30 pm ET. TV/Radio : NBCSN, IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Distance : 400 miles, 160 laps. Pit road speed : 55 mph Caution car speed : 70 mph Fuel window : 33 laps On the front row " See full starting lineup The Indianapolis front row should look very familiar to NASCAR fans as pole-winner Carl Edwards and outside polesitter Joey Logano started in the same positions last week at New Hampshire. Edwards' pole-winning speed of 183.464 mph in the No. 19 Toyota earned the Joe Gibbs Racing driver his first front row start at the iconic Indy track and it is the first NASCAR pole position for Toyota at Indy. Logano's second place qualifying effort will mean his eighth front row start in 19 races. He has four poles. Fastest in practice First practice: Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (182.208 mph) " Full practice results Second practice: Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet (181.466 mph) " Full practice results Final practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (181.987 mph) " Full practice results Last year's winner : The event's inaugural winner Jeff Gordon won his record fifth Brickyard 400 last July, tying him with Formula One's Michael Schumacher for the most victories at the famous speedway. After passing Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on a late restart Gordon pulled away to a hefty 2.3-second win over JGR teammates Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth . It marked Gordon's 90th career Cup win. On the line : Seven races remain to set the 16-car Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, and you have to go back six races to Truex's June 7 win at Pocono to find the last driver to automatically punch his winning ticket into the Chase. Kyle Busch has won three of the last four races, but still sits 58 points out of 30th place -- the cutoff points position to qualify for the Chase. The recent schedule has been dominated by repeat winners while preseason favorites such as Clint Bowyer , three-time Cup champ Tony Stewart , Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMuray and Kyle Larson and Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne are among the A-list names still looking for a victory. Home cooking : Just listening to the cheers from the crowd, there's no doubt that Indianapolis loves its homegrown drivers. That was apparent with every qualifying attempt on Saturday and will be evident in Sunday's race. Of course it's easy to cheer for your own when that includes four-time Cup champion Gordon, of Pittsboro, Indiana, three-time champion Tony Stewart from nearby, Columbus, Indiana, and former Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman , of South Bend, Indiana. And the three account for eight Brickyard 400 wins (Gordon, 5; Stewart 2, Newman 1). "That's huge, when you come home, that's what you want,'' Stewart said of the reception he received after posting the fastest lap in the first round of Saturday's qualifying. Gordon was equally appreciative. "It's amazing and I love that,'' said the retiring Gordon, whose hometown Pittsboro honored him with a parade Thursday afternoon on a day the governor declared " Jeff Gordon Day." "When I'm in the car I'm focused on doing my job, but when I'm out of it, I feel the support here and not just this weekend, it's over the years." New package : The loudest buzz in the garage centered on NASCAR's new aerodynamic package being used Sunday at Indianapolis (and again at Michigan next month). Cars have been outfitted with a 9-inch spoiler that sits three inches higher than used at the 1.5-mile tracks and 6-inches taller than used at the 1-mile New Hampshire oval last week. The hope is the higher drag created by the spoiler will increase passing on the 2.5-mile speedway. A different variation to the cars -- a lower downforce package -- used at Kentucky two weeks ago produced a track record 22 green-flag passes for the lead. After three practice sessions Friday, the verdict was still unclear on what to expect Sunday. "I'm extremely happy with NASCAR’s ability to make some changes and really experiment and try new things,'' said Gordon, who qualified 19th for his final Brickyard start. "But, it's going to be really crazy out there. So, I don’t know for sure. For the little bit of time I spent behind other cars, it was a handful through the corners. So, restarts are going to be wild and crazy; so everybody needs to stay tuned-in." RELATED: See what the new spoiler looks like Nuts and Bolts Kyle Busch has eight top-10 finishes at Indianapolis -- including runner-up finishes two of the last three years -- despite having only one top-10 start at the track. ... Toyota has won its first pole for the Brickyard 400 but Chevrolet holds a 12-year winning streak in the race -- the longest current streak for a manufacturer. ... Amazingly 17 of 21 Brickyard 400 races have been won by Sprint Cup Series champions including, Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson , Kevin Harvick , Bobby Labonte and Stewart. They said it "Well, I mean it could go and be a natural disaster tomorrow. It could all be for nothing. It's the way you want to start the weekend for sure is to have two good runs in qualifying and have a decent starting spot. That is definitely what we were looking for today." -- Tony Stewart , driver of No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy after his fourth-place qualifying effort. "Regardless of how this race turns out, as a group we've been working really good together and I'm hoping it continues to build. Kyle Busch coming back, although it is making us look a little bad the last few weeks, I think it's been really good. He's hauling the mail, going really fast and doing a good job. We're going to keep building on that. It's neat to be competitive within your own group in a productive way." -- Carl Edwards , driver of the No. 19 Stanley Tools Toyota, after earning himself and the car manufacturer its first NASCAR pole position at Indianapolis. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
After Daytona accident, 'Smoke' first on scene to check on 'Rowdy' INDIANAPOLIS -- A day after suffering a broken right leg and left foot in a Feb. 21 crash at Daytona International Speedway, Kyle Busch had his first hospital visitor. It was Tony Stewart , who had been sidelined in August 2013 by a sprint car accident that had caused a compound fracture of his right leg. As Busch's mind raced through possible dire consequences of his injuries, Stewart was there to offer support and counsel. "Tony was actually the first one to the hospital," Busch said on Saturday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). "As soon as the Daytona 500 was over, he was there. He actually told everybody that was on his plane that they were going to wait. He was there for about four hours. We had a good talk. "We had a good discussion about just what it was like and the process that he had to go through and how long it was probably going to be or what it was going to be. In all reality, our injuries were the same but entirely different. His was much more severe than mine. Just being able to talk with him, my mind-set was OK." Stewart helped allay Busch’s fears that his injury might be career-ending. "At first I was like, 'I'm never going to race again, and I don’t know what I’m going to do' -- all those things go through your mind," Busch said. "You just continue to power through and listen to your doctors and those that are around you and, of course, my wife and the support system that I had. "I wouldn't call it painless. There was certainly a lot of pain, but it went really, really well as far as you could say any injury healing goes. I was pretty pleased with everything." If recent results are any indication, Busch has returned stronger than ever. He has won three of the last four Sprint Cup events, at Sonoma, Kentucky and New Hampshire. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 18 driver gives Toyota its first victory at the Brickyard RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Busch gear "I guess Kyle's back," a disappointed Logano said after the race, uttering perhaps the biggest understatement in the modern era of stock car racing. Harvick finished third, followed by Martin Truex Jr . and Denny Hamlin . Clint Bowyer , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch , Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10. To the suggestion that the accident may have provided additional impetus to his comeback, Kyle Busch replied, "I just think that maybe I've found my happy place. "Happy Gilmore (a movie character) – he found his happy place and he just dominated at the end, so maybe I've found that, too. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane for one of the biggest wins of my career. "I just want to celebrate with my team, my wife and my family." A quick inventory of Busch's accomplishments shows that the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: -- He is the first to sweep both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Indianapolis. Busch won the Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY race on Saturday with a last-lap pass of Ryan Blaney . -- He gave Toyota its first victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, breaking a string of 12 straight wins by Chevrolet at the 2.5-mile track. -- He won the 33rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of his career. -- He continued his relentless advance toward the top 30 in the standings and consequent eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. In what now seems a foregone conclusion, Busch has six races to overcome a 23-point deficit to 30th-place Justin Allgaier . "We're a championship contending team," Busch asserted. "We just have to be championship eligible. Thank the good Lord for bringing me back when he did. Obviously, thanking him for all the success I've had in my life, where I'm at and all my blessings. "To get me back as quick as he did, to persevere through that and that deficit. We're still continuing on. We can't have bad days. I don't know that any of that matters—we're going to bask in this moment here." Perhaps most astounding is Busch's ability to win three straight races at three different race tracks using three different competition packages: low-downforce at Kentucky with a 3.5-inch spoiler; standard 2015 rules at New Hampshire with a six-inch spoiler; and high-drag at Indianapolis with a nine-inch spoiler and one-inch wicker. Logano fell just short of giving team owner Roger Penske, a 16-time Indianapolis 500 winner, his first Sprint Cup victory at The Brickyard. RELATED: Logano says, 'I'm glad he's back, but geez' "You come to Indy, and it's all about the win," said Logano, who took the checkered flag in the season-opening Daytona 500 this year. "You either win or finish last. It doesn't really matter anywhere in-between. At least that's the way I race when I come to a track like this. I feel like, at Daytona and Indy, it's all about getting trophies and rings and making out with bricks. "Overall, it was a good day, but second hurts. It always does." Jeff Gordon 's last race at The Brickyard as a full-time Cup driver—and his hopes for an unprecedented sixth victory at the 2.5-mile track—suffered an irreparable blow on Lap 50. Racing to the inside of Harvick, Bowyer's Toyota got loose and spun. Gordon checked up, trying to avoid Bowyer's car, but the No. 24 Chevrolet swerved out of control into the outside wall in Turn 3. The resulting damage ended any hope of another Brickyard trophy for the four-time Sprint Cup champion. "I was underneath Kasey Kahne and we were just racing for position," Gordon said as his crew worked feverishly in the garage to repair the car. "I saw Bowyer get sideways. I don't know what caused it. Me and Kasey were trying to check up to avoid it. I don't know if he got loose or we just both got loose together. Then I just lost control and got in the wall." Gordon finished 42nd and lost one spot to 11th in the series standings. Without a win this season, Gordon is in jeopardy of missing the Chase and can ill-afford another day like Sunday. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
O'Donnell: 'Industry really cares and is really working together' NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that findings from Tuesday's Goodyear tire test at Darlington Raceway along with feedback from next weekend at Kentucky Speedway could be combined to come up with "a package that we may want to look at." Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Matt Kenseth , Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart took part in the Darlington test three weeks after Greg Biffle , Clint Bowyer , Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman tested tires for the Bojangles' Southern 500 (Sept. 6, 7 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) and a week ahead of extended practice for the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (July 11, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). "When we talked about Kentucky, we said we wanted to see how that played out, and there could be other events in the future that we wanted to look at so I'd say the work being done at Darlington is a potential tire that could match a package that we may want to look at," O'Donnell said. "We're by no means anywhere near a decision yet, but we wanted to be prepared coming out of Kentucky to see what if any levers we could pull." Last weekend at Sonoma, NASCAR and Goodyear monitored its new tire and the wear teams saw leading up to the race. Tire management saw side-by-side racing and led to strategy calls that decided the race. It was an example of track-specific packages to lead to better racing. "…it's a balance, and it's going to be race-by-race," O'Donnell said. "Obviously when you look at Kentucky, we want to see a tire with some wear there, but you've got to manage the speeds also. When we go to a track like Michigan or Atlanta, obviously if you get too soft, the speeds go way, way up so it's a balance for us to really match it with the aero and the engine package that you have so it'll be more track-specific as we go forward." O'Donnell noted that it continues to work with its official partner as well as the teams and manufacturers on finding the packages that provide the best racing. "…the softer tire so it is something we're working with the industry on," O'Donnell said. "Goodyear's been a terrific partner in putting that together. We've got all three of the OEMs working with us so we'll see how that goes in Darlington and then obviously how things play out in Kentucky as well." The Darlington test, along with next weekend's race at Kentucky, will help the industry understand the possibilities available for future packages. O'Donnell noted how the entire ecosystem has come together to put on the best show possible. "…we really wanted to get ahead of it, work together and also work on what could happen coming out of Kentucky," O'Donnell said. "We've got a tentative plan that we're talking to teams about to see which way we can go at some different venues so it's been a lot of great collaboration. "The fans should know ultimately that we've got an industry that really cares and is really working together. Then ultimately we've got to make the right decisions that we think will put on the best racing possible." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See the special paint scheme for the Labor Day weekend race MORE SHR DARLINGTON PAINT SCHEMES: Harvick " Stewart " Busch BUY: Tickets for Darlington " Danica die-casts Leading up to the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Stewart-Haas Racing has been revealing the paint schemes for its four Sprint Cup Series drivers. On Tuesday, SHR revealed what Danica Patrick 's No. 10 Chevrolet will look like at "The Lady In Black." . @DanicaPatrick to honor businesses @GoDaddy keeps "in the black" with special paint scheme for "The Lady in Black." pic.twitter.com/h6SzOWQzXQ — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) July 21, 2015 In three career starts at the South Carolina track, Patrick has an average finish of 27.0, with her best run coming in 2014 when she finished 22nd. The Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. ET with TV coverage on NBC and radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM.
Winningnest owner at IMS yet to have driver win Brickyard 400 SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- There are very few racing achievements still left on Roger Penske's to-do list. But Sunday's Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard represents a rare opportunity for Penske to accomplish one of the greatest feats in auto racing. A victory by one of his drivers Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano would give the legendary team owner the motorsports "triple crown" -- also counting wins in the Daytona 500 (Logano) and Indianapolis 500 ( Juan Pablo Montoya ) earlier this year. Of course a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway would be special, triple crown or not. Penske is the winningest Indianapolis Motor Speedway team owner (16 Indy 500 victories) in history but has amazingly been 0-fer at the track when it comes to NASCAR's Brickyard 400. Three times Penske was a runner-up with Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace (1995, 2000 and 2002), but the closest he's been lately is Logano's fifth place last season. "Anytime we hear Indy coming up we start getting the calls from Roger," Logano said Friday between practice sessions at Indy. "We really want to win this race. This is the one on his bucket list that he hasn’t gotten yet and we talk about it a lot. It would be very special to give him a Brickyard 400, along with the Indy 500 he won earlier this year up here and the Daytona 500 we won earlier, too. So this could be quite the trifecta if we could make it happen." Keselowski actually delivered Penske his first NASCAR win on the famed Indy 2.5-miler -- a 1-2 finish with then teammate Sam Hornish Jr . -- in the inaugural XFINITY Series race in 2012. Ironically, Penske was travelling and unable to attend the event -- something Keselowski vowed to tease him about at the time. The significance of Keselowski's day was not lost on him. "The Brickyard means so much to all of us as race car drivers and to the sport in general, and it transcends three different forms of auto racing, whether it's IndyCar in the United States, F1 and their history here, and then obviously with stock cars and their initial time here to the current date, from '94 on, it transcends into a special victory or a special place to race I should probably say," Keselowski said during his winner's press conference. Racing's "triple crown" has only been achieved one time -- in 2010 by Chip Ganassi, Penske's longtime and well-respected rival in both NASCAR and IndyCar series. And it's obviously very seldom even a possibility with the difficulty of winning both the Daytona and Indy 500 -mile races. Keselowski's No. 2 Miller Lite Ford was second fastest in Friday's second practice -- the most promising of the two cars. Logano's No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford finished 14th in the final practice, preparing for Saturday's pole qualifying. Both drivers were optimistic about their chances on Sunday. Motivation won't be a problem. "I don't think you need any more incentive besides giving Roger Penske another win at Indy," Logano said. "You want to add your name to the list of guys that have won here for him. Every time I walk into the shop the first thing you see is all these Indy 500 trophies and the helmets that they wore when they won that race and the picture. "We all want to come up here and give our best effort and try to execute the race the best we know how to and build the fastest cars we know how to before we get there, but we do that every week. We do that for every single race track, but there's just a little bit added for this one. It's like going down to Daytona. You really wan to win the Daytona 500 because it's one of the biggest races of the year. This is the same story, but it's even a little bit more special I think for Team Penske than it is for everyone else." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Team owner won at the Brickyard in 2010 with driver Jamie McMurray Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds a special spot in Chip Ganassi's heart, as a backdrop to his five starts as an IndyCar driver to his five wins as a car owner -- one in NASCAR and four in the Indianapolis 500 . The track's rich history, the sense of place -- all are palpable when his team sets up camp in Gasoline Alley for a race weekend in either series. But despite his fondness for Indy, Ganassi insists there's not a Target-red marker to circle the Speedway's place on the NASCAR calendar for emphasis. With seven races left to get his drivers Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson in position for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, the 57-year-old team owner said each event carries its own importance. "I don't think there's any extra pressure. If there's any pressure at all, it's every race," Ganassi says. "There's a certain amount that goes with every event, but I mean, Indy is in some sense a big event and I know our guys like big events. In another sense, it's just another race and we want to approach it the same way, but we're certainly excited about going there." The sense of time and place is also meaningful for McMurray heading into Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM), an event he won as part of his banner season of 2010, his first with the team that is now known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. In some ways, McMurray says, his Brickyard victory seems like a distant memory but in other ways not as much. Ganassi's longest-tenured driver said he often frames events now in relation to his children's ages. At the time of his Indy win, his wife, Christy, was pregnant with the couple's first child, Carter -- now 4 1/2 years old. Their status as happy parents-to-be comes through in all the photos from Victory Lane and the traditional kiss of the yard of bricks at the start-finish line, but so is the joy shared by Ganassi and Sabates savoring their first stock-car triumph at the birthplace of Indianapolis-style racing. The venerable Speedway certainly remains cherished, but McMurray said the approach doesn't change for this weekend. "I don't remember Chip ever mentioning anything about this race being more important to him than any other race, even though he has the background with the IndyCar team and has the shop based there," McMurray said. "It was a really big deal for us to be able to win there in 2010 -- the pictures, the memories … I loved getting to watch the TV footage afterward of how excited Chip was with Felix being able to win there. But honestly, I don't remember him ever mentioning anything about we need to put more effort into this weekend over any other." Some extra effort will be necessary this weekend, if only because a new, high-drag aero package awaits Sprint Cup teams. To help teams adjust to the rules changes, Friday practice has been expanded to three sessions totaling four hours and 40 minutes, an increase of one hour, 25 minutes from 2014. The extra time might be welcome for crew chiefs such as Matt McCall , in his first year overseeing McMurray's No. 1 Chevrolet. A raised rear spoiler and other aero devices are expected to produce closer, almost pack-style racing at Indianapolis this weekend and at Michigan International Speedway next month but McCall said he's reserving judgment on how cars will react until his team can log track time. "Obviously, you've got wind tunnel data to think you know what it's going to be like, but until they actually make some laps …," McCall said, trailing off with a slight shrug. "I think a couple of cars put the package on at the Chicago test (last week), so with a little bit of feedback, we'll be able to pay attention to that. Still, once you get most of the cars on the race track, you'll get a better idea of what will happen. "It's different, so that's sort of good. Any type of change that'll get your mind thinking a different way, I'm all about it. Sometimes the setup gets so repetitive that it's the same every single week, so pretty cool to have a chance to play on something different." NASCAR officials instituted a low-downforce package two weeks ago at Kentucky Speedway, producing a harder-to-handle car that placed greater emphasis on driver input. The result was the most competitive Sprint Cup race -- measured in green-flag passes -- in the series' five-year run in the Bluegrass State. The widely different trim of the Indianapolis package may be signaling a shift toward track-specific setups, all in the hope of promoting better racing with tailor-made aerodynamics. With that concept just beginning to take root, Ganassi said it's still too early to weigh potential benefits against possible drawbacks. "I have mixed feelings about it and what I've found, I had some feelings about the Kentucky package that really were unfounded concerns, I realized later," Ganassi said. "So I want to be careful what I say about Indianapolis and kind of go in with an open mind. I think in one sense, it's a bit of an equalizer in that no one's tested that package there. So it's going to be interesting to see what happens and it could be an advantage for us." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule