NSCS: Restrictor Plate Racing Looks Good for the Future


Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

By Brett Winningham – Contributing Writer

February 27, 2014

Joplin, Mo. —¬†Daytona International Speedway showed some promising signs of to the quality of restrictor¬†plate races for the 2014 season and beyond. In 2013, NASCAR tried to improve on the package, which didn’t work out so well as racing was nearly single-file the whole time. Though it did get better later on in the year, it wasn’t exactly what the fans was looking for.

Leading up to the 2014 Daytona 500, NASCAR made two major adjustments to the cars to help create a better racing product on the restrictor plate tracks. In 2013, spoilers were four inches high. After some feedback from the teams, NASCAR increased the height to 4.5 inches and changed it to a straight-edge, versus a curved edge. NASCAR also made a change with the rear fascia, making it more round. This caused the closing rate to play more of a role in the race and helped make the cars more steady, which allowed side-by-side racing.

“Well, the cars are different than what they were in 2012 essentially from what they were in ’11. To get rid of the tandem, part of that package to do so has made the cars to where they’re more sidedraft sensitive, kind of back to what we used to have, the difference being that the cars are less sensitive to the left side than what they used to be,” said Brad Keselowski “I think that’s why you see all the guys running up against the wall whenever they can. That package has definitely changed the racing here, allowed the cars to stretch out a little bit, which I guess isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think it is a pretty good thing here in this format. I thought we had a pretty good race.”

The Daytona 500¬†past Sunday¬†provided some of the best restrictor plate racing we’ve seen in years. In each of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events this year leading up to the Daytona 500, drivers were racing nearly every lap like it was the final one. Drivers could pass in the high, middle, and lower racing lines through the whole entire race without any issues.

Many fans on Twitter also enjoyed the new aero package as well. Though, television ratings were lower, as the race was delayed and many thought the replay of the 2013 Daytona 500 was this year’s race, it will be interesting what the ratings will be like for the remaining three restrictor¬†plate races this year. Since a lot of people liked this, NASCAR will probably keep this package in place moving forward.

With this package put in place for 2014 and as the season goes by, it’ll only get better. During 2013, the Daytona 500 saw a lot of single file racing, but as the season went by and the¬†more data the teams get, the better it will get. This season should go right into the same foot steps moving forward. The Daytona 500 is just a sample of the treat as to the good things that will come, with the racing package, later on this season.

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About Brett Winningham

Brett Winningham is a Contributing Writer in the NASCAR department at Rubbings Racing and can be followed on Twitter at @NASCAR_BRETT. A native of Joplin, Missouri, Winningham covers multiple NASCAR events in the midwest each season.

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