Larry McReynolds and Andy Petree on how racing in NASCAR will change with the new rules

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Mike Joy, Brad Keselowski, Larry McReynolds, and Andy Petree talk about how the racing in NASCAR will look different with the new 2019 rules package.

- NASCAR announced today the 2019 rules package, which will go into effect immediately following the Daytona 500 in February 2019. So after that race, we will no longer hear the phrase "restrictor plates." And that's something that we've been talking about, something we've been using since the late '80s, every time we go to Daytona, every time we go to Talladega.

So I want to know, as someone who enjoys watching pack racing, how's my racing going to look different without the plates on those cars?

- Well, I don't know if the racing at Daytona and Talladega is going to look a whole lot different. But you're right, Shannon. I mean, we've been racing. Andy was here. Mike was around, 1988, when we first started racing restrictor plate, for the reasons of safety, after Bobby Allison got up in the catch fence in 1987 at Talladega.

And I like the fact that we will no longer have to use that word again. I think we have some fans that they wouldn't know a restrictor plate if you hit them in the side of the head with it. But they don't like it because their parents told them not to like it.

So I like the fact that we no longer will have the restrictor plate. We won't have to talk about it. But as far as the racing at Daytona and Talladega, yeah, we're going to have to get there. We're going to have to see. But I still think you're going to see a lot of drafting, a lot of pack racing at those two racetracks because the drivers are still going to be running wide open.

ADAM ALEXANDER: That was the one thing we immediately thought of. When you said restrictor plate, the next thing that came to mind was the draft being the great equalizer. For a guy that's been great when it comes to that style of racing, what impact do you think this will have when we get to Talladega in the spring?

- I don't think it'll have any impact, personally.

- None, [INAUDIBLE].

- I think the plates will be very similar. One's a tapered plate. One's a restrictor plate. Similar effects.

A little more throttle response when you do lift with a tapered plate, which basically means when you go to slow down and go to get back onto the gas petal, with the tapered plate, you can recover just a tiny bit faster. But when it comes to that peak engine horsepower, we're going to dial it in to be the same. I don't think you're going to see a big difference.

- I think probably the biggest difference is going to be the stability in the race car. I think we've needed this for a while now on some of the restrictor plate tracks, because the cars are really light on the straightaway. Once they get to the corner and get loaded up, it seems like they're pretty stable. But we see them jockeying around on the straightaways.

And I think that this new package aero-wise is going to have more downforce. It's going to plant them a little bit better. Even though the speeds will be similar, I think the drafting will be very similar, it's still going to make the cars drive better and be more stable. And, you know, especially when they're not really turning the car, and they're all in these four, five wides going down the straightaway.

- Let's look one more time at the changes that NASCAR announced today, just to remind everybody of what we're doing here. And basically, we're talking splitter, that radiator pan, the rear spoiler-- there've been some changes there. But I think you also have to talk about that tapered spacer.

It's not going to change at all. It tracks a mile length in shorter. The changes have come at those tracks that are longer than a mile. And, Mike, I want to get to you on the manufacture impact, because that was something that Steve O'Donnell mentioned on more than one occasion in our meeting today.

MIKE JOY: Well, I think this is leading us toward the next generation of race car, with an idea being a lower barrier to entry for a new manufacturer that may want to join the sport. And so that's-- it's not imminent. But certainly, NASCAR would love to have a fourth or even a fifth manufacturer in the Cup Series. So that's kind of the direction we're headed here.

I like the idea that we're going to have one spoiler for all the race tracks. We're going to have one splitter for all the race tracks. And certainly there's going to be some cost efficiencies there for the teams and some development efficiencies there for the manufacturers, present and future.

- Yeah, when do you guys start working on this? Like how soon?

- Well, we've been working on it.

- OK.

- I mean, we have a test coming up at Charlotte here in a couple weeks. And we've been working on this package-- our engine guys stay ahead of this. As soon as they heard it was going to be, you know, a possibility, we've been trying some things and getting some direction on where to go.

But we're going to put probably more of the development into the lower horsepower engines because it is different. We've really developed around that, what they call 750-horsepower package for quite a while now. So that's pretty mature in its development.

But the-- this new 550 package, you know, we're hoping that we can raise somewhere around 575 while those guys are racing 550.


- I would assume--

- But that's the whole idea.

- I would assume, though, that--

- Try to put as much development into that--

- Andy, it's supposed to be 550. Just go ahead and leave it there.

- And when the Fords test in the fall, you'll be testing the Mustang and not the Fusion, I would assume.

- Hopefully. I haven't been confirmed for a test yet with the new Ford Mustang. But when it does come on, we have a lot of homework to do.

- Well, that's-- that was my question. You know, you guys are introducing a new car before these rules were really announced. I mean, how is this going to affect the way you develop for that new car?

- I think that's to be determined. I mean, obviously this car is going to have a lot more rear downforce. The balance of the car will be different. It will be a lot more stable on entry, like we were talking earlier. And that makes a huge difference for what you ask for out of the car and its body.

So I think until you get on the track, you don't know. There's been a lot of changes here. But none of them have seen the race track yet. So there's a lot of unknowns.

- You know, one thing I do want to say, I was so intrigued sitting in that room today, because NASCAR, they have-- they've almost covered every ounce of ground, because when we do go to that 550 horsepower at the bigger race track, what's that going to do? That's going to increase fuel mileage. So they really don't want to have to change the stages at these tracks, because they don't want a stage to be a fuel run.

So what they're going to do with that package-- they're going to put a 3-gallon dummy block inside the fuel cell. It-- there-- you're going to have better fuel mileage, but you're going to have less fuel. So a fuel run should be very close. They really have worked hard--


- --to cover their bases on this.

- Yeah, and keep the action in-- on pit row--

- Yes.

- --in the game and not make-- turn it into one of those fuel mileage races.