NASCAR Cup drivers explain 'unusual' tame Talladega race

Increased speeds making cars worse to drive on restrictor-plate tracks led to Sunday's Talladega NASCAR Cup Series race being "unusual", say leading drivers

NASCAR Cup drivers explain 'unusual' tame Talladega race

This year NASCAR dropped its minimum ride height rule for Daytona and Talladega to bring the superspeedways in line with other tracks, meaning early weekend speeds reached over 200mph for last weekend's event.

The restrictor plates, designed to limit horsepower and control cornering speeds, normally create pack racing.

But Jamie McMurray's airborne accident after a puncture in practice forced a late revision to the restrictor plates and led to fears Talladega would be "nuts".

The race had a significant amount of single-file racing with few attempts to create second and third lanes of running, which surprised Stewart-Haas Racing's Aric Almirola.

"It was an unusual Talladega, the cars are a big handful," said Almirola.

"They keep getting them lower and lower and lower, and we are going faster and faster and faster, but the cars just drive worse.

"It is a lot harder to run in a big pack three and four-wide all day long. You definitely saw it kind of file out with pit strategy and a lot of that stuff."

Kurt Busch, who finished second at Talladega, says that the minimum right height was to blame for the lack of multi-lane racing.

"I feel like the ride height rule dropped the rear of the car even more from where it was at Daytona," he said. When you look at some of the numbers, there's less downforce on the cars.

"These rear spoilers, to me, are way too narrow. They need to be all the way out to the edge of the fender so it's easier to side draft off people. That would help with stability and with side drafting."

But Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson said Talladega felt like a regular restrictor-plate race behind the wheel.

"It seemed like a normal plate race to me," he said.

"The cars weren't handling really good, so you had to be very cautious with the runs that you had and where you had them.

"I don't know how that looked to the eyeballs watching from the outside, but inside it seemed like a normal plate race except going 20mph faster with the lower ride heights."

The prediction of a chaotic race did not come to pass, with a relatively small number of incidents.

Johnson caused the biggest crash of the race, when he got into a slide late on and collected over 12 cars, and Martin Truex Jr was caught in a collision between Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray in the early stages.

shares
comments
NASCAR Talladega: Joey Logano ends Cup winless streak
Previous article

NASCAR Talladega: Joey Logano ends Cup winless streak

Next article

1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope back to NASCAR Cup again at 59

1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope back to NASCAR Cup again at 59
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021