Blog Entry

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

Posted on: February 16, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 4:11 pm
Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - As expected NASCAR reduced the size of the restrictor plate that will be used in Sunday's Daytona 500. 

After speeds reached in excess of 206 mph in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout NASCAR decided to bring the plate size down 1/64th of an inch which should lower horsepower by 14-15 horsepower and in turn brings speeds down about five to six mph.

NASCAR vice president of communications Robin Pemberton knew after the speeds reached Saturday night the sanctioning body needed to act.

"As I was watching the race and saw the speeds climb the way they did I knew we were going to have to go to work," said Pemberton. "But this is not a knee jerk reaction. It's something we've talked about and had as an option once we saw things develop down here after cars practiced and then raced on Saturday night."

Teams were given a bulletin after Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session that addressed new policies for cooling and radiators in response to the two car drafting packs that were so prevalent on Saturday night. That gave teams two days to get ready for Wednesday's practice sessions with the new parameters in place. 

But now the addition of a smaller plate has been put on their plates however there doesn't seem to much immediate concern from crew chiefs.

"Not really," said Steve Addington who saw his driver Kurt Busch take the checkered flag in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout. "It will knock down horsepower some for sure but in terms of overall performance I don't see it having that much of an impact."

"We're not expecting too much of a difference once we get out there," said Kevin Harvick's crew chief Gil Martin as he sat out the rain that has kept cars off track for Wednesday's practice session."The speeds will come down but the handling will really not change and I'm pretty sure the drivers won't feel that much of a difference once they get out there."

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Category: Auto Racing

Since: Sep 27, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2011 8:40 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

In life the pendulum always swings back the other way. It's the natural order of things. Nothing good last forever and any effort to stop the pendulum from returning in the other directions will bring disastrous results. NASCAR has been fighting the natural motion of the pendulum now for a few years and the results show. Older fans of the sport enjoyed rough racing and fondly remember when "rubbing" was racing. The two car draft is boring as hell to watch and has turned NACAR into nothing more than a SportsCenter highlight. Who wants to watch drafting for four hours? I know I don't.

One day NASCAR will return to glory. It's the natural order of things. But until then NACAR fans will have to endure these pre-race changes, adjustment to the cars, teams with better equipment than the others and a whole lot of drafting.

My father (God bless his soul, may he be resting in peace.) was an amateur stock car driver in the state of Michigan during the 50's and 60's and won himself a few trophies' at Berlin Speedway in the process. Before his passing he told me the problem with NASCAR was big team ownerships. He use to say NASCAR was great when there were driver/owners. A time when anybody could bring a car to the track and try to compete. Now NACAR consist of what, 5 to 8 big corporate teams? The sport has priced the little man out of competition and in the process introduced "vanilla" racing to the viewing public.

I'm sure those day of driver/owner are long gone, but NACAR is going to have to find a way to bring back "Racing" to the track instead of drafting or the sport will continue to be nothing more than a SportsCenter highlight. I'll watch NASCAR in memory of my father's love for the sport, but that's not going to improve the product on the track or draw interest in the sport.


Since: Dec 21, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2011 8:13 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

Really now??  Imagine the backlash if race dates were taken from Loudon, Watkins Glen, Pocono, etc...I think those fans care...

Since: Oct 17, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2011 6:40 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

Being a fan of Nascar I have begun shaking my head from side to side wondering if I am the only one who feels Nascar is imploding on itself. Pole speed for the race is 186 mph. Divving in packs of two for 4 hours. How is it racing when the pole speed is only a fraction over  what the people who drive at the Petty Driving experience get to drive. The superbowl of nascar is becoming super fraud. Why bother repaving if all you are going to do is slow the cars down?

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2011 6:05 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

Being a sports fan, racing really isn't my cup of tea, but I thought the wrecks at Daytona were caused by bunching - won't smaller holes, which I usually like lol, make this problem worse?  Is NASCAR trying to kill its drivers?

Since: May 16, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2011 5:20 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

Why is this considered a sport? They just drive in circles for a few hours. No one above the Mason-Dixie line cares.

Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:13 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

Seriously?  How many wrecks at 206mph would be survivable at a mere 200mph?  What is the difference in reaction time for the drivers at 206 as opposed to 200?  I watched the sprint race and I didn't hear any of the drivers say anything but how much fun it was.  I say let 'em drive!

Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2011 3:06 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

At least The Shootout had the bulk of the cars spread out, albeit two by two. NASCAR is going to tinker themselves back into the huge pack of one and end up creating the big one at 200 mph as opposed to a 2 to 5 car crash at 205. As NASCAR messes with the water temp the drivers are going to pay way more attention to their guages, thats less attention to driving. They are about to witness the law of unintended consiquences.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:30 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

They will probably tinker with the fuel rail pressure or more likely, the size of the injectors themselves to dial in what kind of power they want to allow.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:51 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

I think they went the wrong way on this. If you open the whole than the cars will futher from eachother. I am not sure but if you restrict a car that is at 200 horse power it is like haveing a engine pushing 150 horse power  Not sure if that is right but it is my thought.

Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:35 pm

NASCAR changes Daytona plates

What does NASCAR do next year at Daytona and Talladega when the cars will be fuel-injected instead of carburated like they are now?

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