The much anticipated new lower downforce rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars did indeed make for more passing on the track. I loved watching it, and the drivers loved racing with it.

In my Atlanta News & Notes post last week getting everyone 'Race Ready' for the Atlanta weekend, I described the new downforce rules and how much I loved the idea (Read More).

Courtesy of NASCAR

I agreed with NASCAR's assessment that it would put a lot more excitement back into the on-track action. Less downforce will make the tires work harder and ware out fast, and that puts the spotlight on driver talent and pit strategy. Sunday's race proved it to be true for both talent and strategy.

The driver's especially loved it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch, who finished second and third respectively, were all grins during FOX Sports' post-race coverage.

Busch said that it was fun "slicing and dicing back and forth"  while racing with Earnhardt and Brad Keselowski (finished ninth).

Earnhardt stated that he had a blast on the track and quote, "we were driving the hell out of these cars."

It was certainly a step in the right direction. One thing to keep in mind, It was a perfect combination. The new downforce rules coupled with the rough, hard on tires, racing surface that Atlanta Motor Speedway has, it made for a much more exciting race. It reminded me of the old Rockingham Speedway, which was my favorite track to watch races, and it was my favorite of all of the NASCAR tracks I've visited. "The Rock" was hard on tires, and true driver talent and smart crew chiefs shined at that place.

The true test will come when the series travels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Speedway, especially Phoenix who has the newest surface. The two tracks have a fresher racing surface, and it is not as hard on tires as AMS.

Hopefully what we saw this past weekend will translate to those two tracks as well. Overall, it is a step in the right direction.

Kudos NASCAR.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Atlanta Motorspeedway
Hampton, GA
February 28, 2016

POS. 	CAR # 	DRIVER 
1	48	Jimmie Johnson
2	88	Dale Earnhardt Jr
3	18	Kyle Busch
4	41	Kurt Busch
5	19	Carl Edwards
6	 4	Kevin Harvick
7	78	Martin Truex Jr
8	24	Chase Elliott
9	 2	Brad Keselowski
10	17	Ricky Stenhouse Jr
11	 3	Austin Dillon
12	22	Joey Logano
13	16	Greg Biffle
14	13	Casey Mears
15	43	Aric Almirola
16	11	Denny Hamlin
17	14	Ty Dillon
18	27	Paul Menard
19	20	Matt Kenseth
20	10	Danica Patrick
21	 1	Jamie McMurray
22	 6	Trevor Bayne
23	 5	Kasey Kahne
24	31	Ryan Newman
25	21	Ryan Blaney
26	42	Kyle Larson
27	47	AJ Allmendinger
28	34	Chris Buescher
29	83	Matt DiBenedetto
30	46	Michael Annett
31	44	Brian Scott
32	23	David Ragan
33	95	Michael McDowell
34	 7	Regan Smith
35	15	Clint Bowyer
36	38	Landon Cassill
37	98	Cole Whitt
38	32	Jeffrey Earnhardt
39	30	Josh Wise

More Racing Fun: The Grudge Nationals