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USA Today via Reuters

The NASCAR Cup Series is always full of surprises and intense competition. With only four playoff spots up for grabs, the series is heading to Michigan International Speedway for the 2023 FireKeepers Casino 400.

A pre-race press conference with NASCAR insiders sheds light on the evolving dynamics of the sport. From discussions about car development and aerodynamics to media rights deals, the conversation gives us intriguing insights into the future of NASCAR.

Unveiling the quest for speed disparity in NASCAR cars

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During the presser, a sports journalist, Matt Weaver, posed a thought-provoking question to Brad Keselowski about the tightly controlled nature of NASCAR cars. Matt wondered if there was any area in the cars that could be opened up to create a little speed disparity without harming the economic model of the next generation of NASCAR.

Brad admitted, saying, “Oh, I wasn’t really prepared for this one.” He wasn’t prepared for this question but acknowledged that certain criteria in NASCAR cars were open for development, unlike in IndyCar.

He mentioned that the engine criteria were more open in NASCAR, giving teams some room for innovation. Additionally, the arrow programs among manufacturers allowed some degree of development. While he couldn’t pinpoint a specific area to open up, Brad acknowledged that disparities did exist.

He emphasized, “I think we do see disparities right now they’re not as prominent as they were you know I think right now that the majority of the fight and contest seems to be on the you know submittal and Homologation of the aerodynamics of the car and I think we see that fairly routinely through the years and it hasn’t changed fully with the next Gen.”

The constant ebb and flow of car performance keeps teams on their toes, finding ways to gain an edge while adhering to NASCAR’s goal of closer racing. He also said, “the fords had a pretty good car, arguably the best car through the homologation period. And then this year I think pretty easily the worst car and conversely you could probably say Toyota had the worst car last year and this year has the best.”

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The impact of the New Media Rights deal on NASCAR’s future

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Another fascinating topic during the press conference revolved around the newly announced media rights deal involving The CW. Dustin Long from NBC Sports asked Brad about the implications of this deal and how it aligns with the long-term goals and plans for the sport.

Brad emphasized that the media rights deal with The CW marked a significant win for the NASCAR industry. Broadcasting all races of the exciting series on a major network would provide high-level exposure. He emphasized, “I think that gives us a high-level exposure for that series that hopefully transcends into whatever the media rights deal is for the cup series or at least complements in some way so that that I think that’s an exciting moment for our sport that probably is not fully understood at this moment.

Brad Keselowski’s insights shed light on the potential benefits of the new media rights deal and how it could impact NASCAR’s growth. The alliance with The CW presents an opportunity to enhance the Xfinity series’ appeal, as he said, “I’d be remiss to have an answer for you on what our level of involvement will be in the Xfinity series, but I would like to think that you know the series being broadcasted it’ll be able to track the partners that we would need to be able to justify that level of investment that it takes to run that series and ultimately that will be the deciding factor.

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Will the sport’s openness to development and the new media rights deal pave the way for an even more thrilling and unpredictable future, or will they bring unforeseen challenges?

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