NASCAR: Restrictor plates won’t be used at Talladega in 2019

October 3, 2018

No more restrictor plates at Talladega.

NASCAR revealed a new rules package for next season that will mean drivers won’t be required to install restrictor plates for the two annual races at Talladega Superspeedway.

Beginning with the Talladega race April 28, 2019, all cars in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series will have a “downforce area package and a smaller tapered spacer to restrict air flow to each engine that will offset the need for a carburetor restrictor plate, which has been utilized at the 2.66-mile venue since 1987,” according to a Talladega Superspeedway news release.

The release said cars will have more horsepower and maneuverability, along with more downforce and stability.

“From our beginning in 1969, Talladega Superspeedway has produced the most memorable and competitive races in the history of motorsports, and that trend will continue next year and beyond,” Talladega Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch was quoted as saying in the release. “We work every day with NASCAR to provide fans an on-track product that can’t be seen anywhere else.

“NASCAR has actually used tapered spacers the last three or four years here in combination with restrictor plates, but with the new aero package, this will be a more efficient way to provide our fans the most exciting racing on the planet. We are proud of all that is Talladega — the product that we have delivered both on and off the track in the past — and what we will showcase again next year. That same heart-pounding, white knuckle racing style can be experienced at our NASCAR Playoff doubleheader next weekend (Oct. 12-14) in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 and Talladega 250, and we are looking forward to that.”

The 1987 Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway provided the impetus for the use of restrictor plates.

NASCAR driver Bobby Allison blew an engine in his Buick, which caused his car to lift off the track and into the catchfence near the flag stand. The car didn’t go into the stands, and according to a USA Today report, four spectators were injured but none seriously.

Even so, NASCAR ruled that cars must have restrictor plates on their carburetors for the July race at Daytona. Since then, the two yearly races at Talladega and the two at Daytona have required restrictor plates, which cut the airflow to the engine and reduced horsepower.

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