Does Restircter Plates Restrict The Cars Or Do They Restrict NASCAR?

Cory HartleyCorrespondent INovember 2, 2009

TALLADEGA, AL - NOVEMBER 01:  Crew chief Tony Gibson (R) looks over the #39 U.S Army Chevrolet, driven by Ryan Newman, in the garage after a car incident on track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on November 1, 2009 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images


          There once was a time where NASCAR embodied the best stock cars at the best tracks to produce the best action. These days all NASCAR can seem to do is prevent teams and drivers from racing.

            Back in the day NASCAR use to outlaw certain cars or engines to limit teams and even the playing field. These days they just use restricter plates. Although the restricter plate has been used for years now, there is only so much you can do to slow the cars down. This past weekend at Talledega we saw the plate reduced in size by a finger nails width amount which in turn was to slow cars by 12 to 15 horsepower. Does this help anything, or does it allow these super engineered cars to work below its minimum standard?

           Do the drivers not understand the fact that everytime they get in the car there life is in danger? Do we as fans not understand that racing is a constant pushing of the envelope? Does NASCAR not realize slowing down cars only stiffles the entertainment we are entitled to every race? These are questions I asked myself after watching the poor quality of racing at Talledega this past weekend.

           NASCAR and alot of people claim these measures are taken due to safety. I hear this and laugh. Racing drivers use to be imortalized cause they put their life on the line everytime they stepped into the car. Im not saying I enjoy watching people die, but I think that if they are willing to put themselfs in that position it can be very entertaining to watch. That being said, I dont understand why NASCAR insists on restricting cars from doing the absolute best they can. Sure not every track is suited to high speed full throtle racing, but the ones that are should have just that.

          With the arrival of the COT cars, NASCAR has seemed to have a shiney new toy they still dont know how to play with even though they've had it for a couple of years now. NASCAR has made rule after rule to regulate these cars, and the teams from pushing them to the limit. Why do they even go to these super speedways if they are gonna make the cars less than par for the race?

         Tracks like Talledega and Daytona are amoung some of the best, but why hamper the technology from doing what its meant to do? They wouldnt go to a road course and put a peg in the steering wheel so they could only turn one direction! So why go to a super speedway if you are gonna regulate the speed of the cars?

         All of this seems to hurt NASCAR in the long run. Regulating the cars only makes for boring racing. Drivers will drive around until the end and then they will push as hard as they can to get the win. Who wants to watch an engineering masterpiece in a parade for 400 miles just to see them unleashed in the last 25?

        If NASCAR wants to keep restricting cars on super speedways they should just stop going there and have more races at smaller tracks. The cars are only going to go so fast before they lose their handling so why not let them go fast. Racing should be about top speeds and great handling. Safety is important, but more important for the driver inside the car. If a car crashes the driver should have the proper protection to hopefully prevent injury, but this should be true no matter how fast or slow they go. Slowing cars down that are built to go fast only makes for more trouble than it fixes.

        I think NASCAR would return to greatness if they opened up and allowed teams to push the envelope once again. Attendance would go up and the viewership at home might watch the whole race and not just the last 40 laps. So I ask the question does the restricter plate limit the cars or NASCAR?