RaceDayCT Daily Poll: What’s The Best Answer For NASCAR Restrictor Plate Racing?

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Another restrictor plate Sprint Cup event, another day of watching cars flipping in flying on the track.

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup events at its two restrictor plate tracks – the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway and 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway – over the last few years have seen a sharp rise in the number of cars flipping and flying. Sunday’s event at Talledega kept the trend going and once again had a many drivers and national media members calling for major change at the tracks before tragedy happens.

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  1. Some guy says

    The last few years of the IROC series the top speeds were only about 180mph and the racing was pretty good. Faster is not always better.Jmo.

  2. when you have 40 cars running 3 to 4 wide @ 180 mph you still going to have multiple “Big Ones”
    I love watching this type of racing but I would hate to own a car

  3. darealgoodfella says

    Need to reduce/remove aero downforce to make the cars slide around some. The banking in the turns does what aero can’t do. The straights where there is little banking is usually where the spins happen and where any aero comes into play.

    There isn’t much, if any, racing on the turns at ‘Dega. The cars stay in line, then try to maneuver on the straights, where all heck breaks loose. Watch, the cars look like they get funneled into the turns, hold position, then try something out of the turns.

    There is plenty of jockeying around, and sometimes it leads to a car being turned. Much better spotting can help. The distance the spotters are from the action is probably a detriment. And it probably comes from too much testosterone, too little brains, too much playing chicken, and just plain bullying.

    Even just getting what appears to be a slight push from behind on the left side sends the lead car turning hard to the right.

    Amazingly, this racing has become a full contact sport. A couple decades ago, if two cars made contact, it was a HUGE deal. Now, contact is not news at all. It’s a matter of how hard the contact was.

    I believe a couple years ago, the front and rear bumpers were reinforced intentionally for pushing and being pushed. Well, perhaps that needs to be reconsidered. Make the front and rear bumpers weak, no reinforcing behind the skin, body panels just barely strong enough to withstand only the aerodynamic loads. If any contact happens between front and rear bumpers, the cars lose the bumpers (damaged/destroyed), and are now at a HUGE aero disadvantage. The sides of the nose and the rear quarter panels are included in this minimal strength body panel package that get lost or severely damaged with the slightest contact. That should keep the cars away from each other.

  4. raymus 61 says

    I think a lot could be done to the cars to slow them down. Make the engine size @250 cubic inches, make the cars more “boxy” flatten the noses and stand the windshields up more. Open the front air intake, close up the cowl intake for the carb. People much smarter than me could figure this out i.e. NASCAR.

  5. Observer says

    No bumpers at all, right from the start

  6. Joe Lajoie says

    Get rid of the tracks. It would be no skin off my back. It’s not racing.

  7. NH Mark says

    DW made his first relevant point ever. The roof flaps on the 20 didn’t open. That’s an issue. Also, the driver compartments stay largely in tack after these flips. Not like yrs ago. I’d slow them down though. Sooner or later someone is going over or through a fence.

  8. darealgoodfella says

    raymus 61, it is already a restrictor plate track.

    Something like only 5 cars were unscathed from the 5/1 race. Absurd. The owners should be demanding something be done.

    The accidents were pilot errors. Too much bumping and banging. The Xfinity series puts limits on bumper-to-bumper racing. That race wasn’t so bad, at least a fraction of the destruction of the Cup race.

    These super speedway restrictor plate races need limits on contact, and penalties for contact, incidental or otherwise.

  9. It’s simple. Take the plates off and let the drivers drive the race cars. It will spread the field out and they won’t be running on top of each other.

  10. darealgoodfella says

    Search out the comments by Kyle Busch… he blames driver stupidity.

  11. I do not think it had as much to with the cars as it did with everyone thinking that the race would be shortened because of rain. Once they got pass half way they all thought as soon as the rain starts the race cpuld be over. I also think it comes from the chase. Wins mean way more and restictor plate races open the door to the smaller teams to possibly steal a victory. If they could get into the chase it could mean keeping the shop doors open longer.

  12. Sharpie Fan says

    The more that they do to slow the cars down, the more the cars will all be running at the same speed, the larger the pack that will be running “all within a second” of each other. The more that Nascar tries to control/orchestrate things the more things get OUT of control.

    How many “big ones” were there back when Bill Elliott set the speed record?

  13. Andy Boright says

    I agree with Hamlin, either the cars need to be slowed down another 50 mph, or the cars need to race without restrictor plates.

    Smaller engines will only slow the cars down for so long. When the Xfinity series was running v6’s, they were pushing 200 mph almost 20 years ago.

  14. darealgoodfella says

    Contact rules need to be put in place and enforced for the restrictor plate tracks. Pushing, shoving, and nudging has to stop. The consequences of contact on the super speedway are far worse than on a non-restrictor plate track.

    The driving was just plain stupid with cars banging into each other.

  15. I agree with Andy . So you can make the car a brick with a smaller engine but there is so much at stake in these races now with the Chase format and the fact that Dega is a Chase track that the engineers will just sharpen their pencils and any loss of speed will only be temporary . You can go back 40 years and no matter how many rule changes there have been to slow down the cars since then its amazing that the speeds are still pretty much the same today. This is from the 1977 Talladega 500 won by Donnie Allison :
    “Notable speeds were: 162.524 miles per hour (261.557 km/h) for the winner’s speed and 192.684 miles per hour (310.095 km/h) for the pole position qualifying speed.”
    The best minds in racing are always going to figure out how to make speed . So you may get some temporary relief but the speed will be back. Personally I think the track is just too big to avoid the kind of racing we see, no matter what rules they put in place. I’d like to see it removed from the Chase and substituted with a road course. Then maybe it would become cost prohibitive for teams to build cars only for Dega and Daytona with the super slick aero bodies for just 3 races and nothing at stake in the Chase. I bet if you tried to run a Charlotte car at Dega you’d automatically lose 20 MPH . So cut it down to 3 plate races and no special speedway cars . I doubt fans would even notice.

  16. Anytime you hear aero,racing sucks.Shape those taxi cabs so they have a huge amount of areo drag.stick them to the track.this should also slow them down a bit,make cars easier to drive,and safer.Just my opinion.

  17. kevin t,
    The problem is the cars are already too easy to drive on the plate tracks. They don’t have to lift in the corners due to reduced HP, which means anyone that stay in the draft can get to the front regardless of how good the car is or how skilled a driver they are. Getting them bunched up leads to the wrecks involving 20 plus cars. Cars were getting airborne and flipping for years at Daytona and Talladega when they were unrestricted and not much was done. It was not until Bobby Allison’s car tore down the fence at Talladega and caused a threat to fan safety did they decide to slow the cars. If they were just single car spins at today’s speeds with the roof flaps the cars would probably not get off the ground. It is just when the cars crash in the big packs and cars get pushed sideways by another car the roof flaps kind of get negated due to the physics involved. Things like the way the 34 car rolling on Sunday is different though. That has more do with momentum turning the cars over when they get suddenly get sideways at those speeds.

  18. Chris D. says

    Preece fans should read the first 2 sentences of JMB’s comment. That is the reality of plate racing, especially Talledega. Then, see if Preece runs with the leaders at Dover.

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