Some Quick Thoughts On NASCAR’s 2019 Rules Package

NASCAR announced the 2019 rules package Tuesday afternoon. If you hated the All-Star package strap in because you’re about to be more triggered than Kevin Durant on Instagram.

Here’s a quick look at the package;

Alright, now that you’ve looked it over, yelled some obscenities and downed a Busch beer (because you’re a diehard fan) to numb the pain let’s talk about the package real quick.

No Restrictor Plate

Fans hate the word “restrictor plate” when you mention that it makes fans think NASCAR is trying to create pack racing. Every 1.5-mile track is going to be like Daytona/Talladega is the thought, it’s not.

NASCAR will use a tapered spacer in 2019. What is the difference? The tapered spacer is 1 inch thick versus the 1/8″ thick restrictor plate. The tapered spacer allows for more throttle response while also cutting horsepower from 750 this year to around 550 last year. The package during the All-Star race only had 400 horsepower.

Two types of the tapered spacer will be used this season depending on the race track.

One piece of information that fans will be shocked by is starting at Talladega next spring Cup cars will no longer have restrictor plates. For the first time since 1987, no plates will be on the car. However, the tapered spacer will still be there so don’t get too excited for high speeds. The speeds will be the same but drivers will likely have more throttle response.

Aero Ducts

Much like the package used at the All-Star Race and for the Xfinity Series this year, air ducts will be making an appearance again next season.

Tracks 1.5-miles and above will have the aero ducts added to the car. EXCEPT FOR BOTH POCONO RACES, ATLANTA, DARLINGTON, AND HOMESTEAD. 

This will allow for a bigger hole in the air and should increase passing and the ability to run closer in the corner. NASCAR desperately wants cars to run side by side in the corner, this should help that.

Is This A Good Move Or Bad Move?

Someone from NASCAR let me know this was happening last week and I was immediately skeptical. Then we talked about everything the packaged entailed and how the spacer could be changed for certain tracks. That definitely made me feel better about the changes.

Personally, I’m cautiously optimistic going forward. I don’t like restricted engines with high downforce. That takes throttle management/tire management out of the driver’s skill set. On top of that, I really despise the tapered spacer, ever since it’s introduction in the Xfinity Series all it has done is increase corner speed and decrease passing. BUT, I’ll give this a chance if it means I don’t have to watch another race like Kentucky.

NASCAR believes the best teams and drivers will still be the ones winning these races. Which is definitely true, they also said they want to take some of the engineering out of the car. An easier solution to this could have been taking the front splitter off the car, reverting back to the valence and keeping the small spoiler. That would have helped racing in the corners and made the cars less aero dependent. But they’re NASCAR and I’m just writing on a blog so I’ll assume they did their homework.

Since this is the package we’ve been dealt I’ll be cautiously optimistic that the racing will be entertaining. If Austin Dillon and David Ragan start winning races though I’m out.

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