This upcoming season, Bridgeport kind of relaxed the rules on the 5/8ths to allow more cars to compete competitively. Now, while the addition of "sail panels" is a welcomed addition in my eyes, how many cars with sail panels will you really see? The majority of the field are Big Blocks or Big Small Blocks. Neither of those are allowed sail panels. Open 363Ci or less Small Blocks will be sprinkled in and with 2 other tracks (NES and Gview) running Spec-358s on Saturdays, I realy only see those (specs) in the field if either one of those tracks rains/cancels. SO, unless the track allows ALL to use sail panels on the 5/8ths, the field will resemble the 2017 Sportsman/Crate field when they allow sails on on the crates. Some here, some there. There won't be a lot of them and it will help everyone differentiate between Big and Small motors.
Onto the 3/8ths. The few races that were run on the 3/8ths last season, I think its safe to say that true Big Blocks aren't the hot ticket and Spec/Open Small Blocks are the way to go. Spec & Open Smalls in 2019 are running traditional windows on the 3/8ths. Big Blocks can run Sail panels. I think the majority of the field won't have sail panels. The only area of uncertainty is of the BIG Small Blocks. It states the weight and spoiler rules, but nothing about sails or windows. If the BIG Smalls are allowed to run sail panels, THEN you may see quite a few more throughout the field.
Basically, just how many sail panels on either track will you actually see? I'd like to think 2019 is a Testing year. Testing the track and the cars with and without. It'll also be to get driver/owner/crew input as well as spectator input. I'd like to think the track will eventually allow ALL to use Sail Panels just like in 1994. For those that remember that season, a lot of teams started the year with DIRT legal windows, but since DIRT allowed a "grandfather clause" on bodies until 1995, many teams added Sail Panels to their Big Blocks throughout the season. Seems as if they are allowed, many teams will run them.
Me personally, the last 8-10 seasons of the mods at EWS were my favorite modified bodies. Huge bodies and Sail Panels along with the HUGE rubber, made for a perfect look. So anytime I see a car with Sail Panels these days, I LOVE IT. I'd like to think that sponsors would love them as it's more area and usuable space to have their logo displayed.
What do drivers think of them? Seems like if they are allowed, they run them.
Either way, it's a great subject to discuss.