It’s becoming more certain then the sun rising. NASCAR has announced more changes to cars following Friday’s test session at Daytona International Speedway. Yet as the sanctioning body makes changes intended to slow the cars down just the opposite has happened.
As Fox Sports notes the latest rule changes
NASCAR announced more changes for Sprint Cup Series teams after the second day of testing at Daytona International Speedway on Friday. Teams will receive a smaller restrictor plate with an opening of 29/32nd of an inch, down from 15/16ths, to decrease the amount of air intake to the engine. The radiator opening was shrunk from 3.5-by-18 inches to 2-by-20 inches, or from 63 square inches to 40. And the pressure relief valve is now 21 pounds per square inch from the 25psi they used Friday. The top speed in Friday’s test session was set 90 minutes into the afternoon by Kurt Busch. He ran a 206.058-mph average lap working in tandem with his regular drafting partner, Regan Smith. Busch hit 210.9 mph down the backstretch, the fastest portion of the track.
The plan or idea is to have the cars run in large packs, which was the case prior to the sport mandating the use of the controversial Car of Tomorrow. The biggest difference is that with the car of tomorrow the bumpers line up with each other which was initially thought to be a safety feature to prevent the car in front of a draft from being lifted off the ground by the trail car.
When the afternoon testing session began there was brief pack racing and then drivers quickly went back to tandem drafting which it seems everyone in the garage agrees will by the key to the Daytona 500.
I understand the excitement or anger at the tandem draft but NASCAR has not fixed the problem and is only making it even more important to master as they attempt to prevent it.
Oddly the four super speedway races were some of the most memorable of the year. Trevor Bayne pulled off an improbable win in the Daytona 500, Jimmie Johnson won a near photo finish at Talladega a few weeks later. In the second trip to Daytona David Ragan finally found victory lane and let’s not forget Clint Bowyer’s pass of teammate Jeff Burton for the win the second time the sport visited Talladega.