NASCAR looks for superspeedway fix

NASCAR will stage a major test at Daytona today (Tuesday) to improve the response and driveability of Winston Cup cars on restrictor-plate tracks

NASCAR looks for superspeedway fix

NASCAR reduces speeds at the 2.5-mile Daytona and 2.66-mile Talladega superspeedways by fitting air restrictor plates to the carburettors. As a result, the cars run virtually flat-out for the whole lap. But the drivers say that the lack of throttle response caused by the plates, plus the fact that the field tends to stay in a single draft, makes for dangerous racing - Talladega in particular has seen a number of 20-car accidents in recent seasons.

Now, NASCAR is hoping to give back some throttle response and still keep speeds down by increasing horsepower, but also increasing drag.

"Maybe we can add a little drag to the cars aerodynamically and maintain the speed by making the restrictor plates a little bigger, which gives the drivers a little more throttle response," said NASCAR technical chief Gary Nelson.

The 11 drivers and teams running at Daytona, including Joe Gibbs Racing (Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart), Richard Childress Racing (Dale Earnhardt and Mike Skinner) and Robert Yates Racing (Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd), will test a variety of rear spoiler and restrictor plate combinations by simulating drafting and passing on the Florida track.

The 2000 schedule includes one more race at Talladega, but it is unclear whether NASCAR will implement any changes resulting from the test before the start of the 2001 season.

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