NASCAR won’t change restrictor plates
NASCAR will not being making a change to the size of restrictor plates for tonight’s Budweiser Shootout.
Despite speeds exceeding 203 mph, NASCAR has decided to go with the flow.
“We will not be making a restrictor plate for tonight’s race,“ said NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp.
“We’ve asked teams to remove the auxiliary air hose that offers more air to the grill, that will discourage the drivers from staying together for too long.
“The teams have done a great job of applying what they’ve learned at the two tests and using it to their advantage.”
Teams are currently using 29/32nd size plates. At the December Goodyear tire test, the teams practiced with 30/32nds-sized plates but the cars were too unstable to maintain the tandem drafting.
“With the bigger plate, you couldn’t two-car draft, because it was too fast,” said Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Penske Dodge during last month‘s full field test. “You’d just spin each other out.
“Now that we have the smaller plate, the cars are more vulnerable to the two-car draft. I think you’re going to really see now more than ever that someone’s going to be able to execute the two-car draft and get out front and drive away from the pack.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., polesitter for tonight’s event, expressed concern that excessive tandem drafting would take away from the racing. But in some instances it might be necessary.
“I’m telling you right now you’re probably going to want to be one of those guys that conforms to it because some of the guys in the field will use that strategy to separate themselves early from the pack,” Earnhardt said. “I would hope that it doesn’t end up being like that all the way through — where you have to find a partner to survive. But I think some guys we’ll do it to survive.”