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NASCAR to test potential 2017 rule by decreasing side force at all-star race

NASCAR will test a rule designed to limit the amount of side force the Sprint Cup cars generate at its Sprint All-Star Race weekend Friday and Saturday.

NASCAR announced Monday morning it will require the cars to have no rear skew when going through inspection prior to the event, which includes the last-chance qualifying race Friday (the Sprint Showdown) and the 20-car main event Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

By decreasing side force, NASCAR hopes that would help cars pass one another. It will take the data it collects from the all-star race, and if it and the teams like what they see, the rule could be put in place for the 2017 season, giving teams time to implement it throughout their fleet.

The current rule requires 0.3 degrees rear skew difference in the wheel alignment from the right side to the left side of the car at the start of the race and a maximum of 0.74 degrees after the race. The rule for the all-star race will be 0 degrees difference at the start of the race with a maximum of 0.25 degrees postrace.

NASCAR also announced an immediate rule change Monday for the rest of the season that will eliminate electronic fans designed to generate downforce. NASCAR had enacted rules this season that eliminated about 25 percent of the downforce from the cars, and the fans became an area where teams were spending money on new materials to help create downforce.

Both of the new rules will be tested Tuesday at a Goodyear tire test at Michigan International Speedway. The test, which also will confirm the tire selection for the Michigan race weekend next month, has four drivers participating: Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Kyle Larson.