NASCAR will debut a new aero package this weekend for superspeedway races going forward. No longer will Cup cars have restrictor plates on them, instead they’ll have tapered spacers that will constrain the engines to an acceptable horsepower.
Some people have misled fans by saying this will be an unrestricted race free of plates, true. Except the tapered spacer exists so don’t expect to see much change with top speed and throttle response. The biggest change for the Cup cars this weekend will be the massive 9″ spoiler out back. It was raised one inch after a test at Daytona saw top speeds exceed what NASCAR wanted. This spoiler could be and should be the solution to last season’s dullard of a race at Talladega.
NASCAR also has mandated teams run a 1″ bolt on track bar mount to raise the rear of the race car. Last year NASCAR got ride of ride height rules, teams responded by slamming the rear end of cars to the ground for increased speed. That resulted in some awfully terrible racing at Talladega and to an extent Daytona.
Big Spoiler = Big Runs
A massive 9″ spoiler is going to punch a gigantic hole in the air. When that happens the trailing car is going to get a tremendous run. Passing this weekend won’t touch the tandem era levels of passing but holding the lead should be incredibly difficult. Loop data for this upcoming race will dwarf the loop data from last year. Which shouldn’t be hard considering it was the lowest in all categories from the last 5 seasons.
Combine that spoiler with the new track bar mount and we should have the creation of an entirely new drafting package. One that is going to put a lot of guys in some pretty precarious situations. Situations that could lead to a lot of cautions or at least a lot of guys on the radio talking about blocking. Big runs mean the car in front has to defend and they’ll do that by mirror driving the car behind. We’ve seen in recent years blocking doesn’t bode well for many, especially when it matters. With bigger runs than ever before there’s a high change guys will mis-judge the speed at which the run is coming and we might see an increase in cautions.
iRacing is a wildly realistic racing simulation game. People still claim iRacing is the reason William Byron has been so successful. (He has actual real life talent, he just happens to be really good at the game too. i.e. Ty Majeski). When iRacing plugged in the 2019 rules package and their official league had a race at Talladega last week, this was the result.
From the exit of turn 2 to the start-finish line, he went from 18th to 1st. Dale couldn’t even do that but here we are. Keep in mind this is a game with non-professional race car drivers. If the package is half as good as what we just saw then everyone should be happy.
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