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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