Drivers Spoil Talladega Test Session: NASCAR Certain to Make Rule Change

David YeazellSenior Analyst IMarch 16, 2010

TALLADEGA, AL - NOVEMBER 02:  Nationwide COT drive cars on the track during testing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series new Car of Tomorrw at Talladega Superspeedway on November 2, 2009 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

Drivers involved in today’s test session at Talladega Superspeedway served notice that rear spoilers and larger bore restrictor plates are a perfect combination for speed.

Just before the start of racing at Daytona, NASCAR added a few body spoilers in an effort to try and control the cars better at higher speeds.

Once it was determined these modifications would slow the car down considerably, NASCAR went one step further and immediately opted to increase the bore size in its mandated restrictor plates.

This offered more horsepower to the cars and made for higher speeds and better racing conditions at Daytona.

Today at Talladega Super Speedway, drivers testing with the same restrictor plate and new rear spoilers were topping the speed charts at 212 mph while drafting.

Speeds of this caliber on a super speedway have not been seen since Bill Elliott’s record qualifying run of 210.264 mph at Daytona in 1987.

It was the last time races at Talladega and Daytona were run without restrictor plates.

Today’s testing session offers more proof of how NASCAR’s rear wing has made racing, drafting, and ability to control the car more difficult than it was with a rear spoiler.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, these higher speeds are a testament of how far engine technology has come since the early days of non-restrictor plate races.

NASCAR is certain to take a long look at today’s results and slow the cars down by mandating a return to a smaller bore size in the restrictor plates.

While they did give us a taste of faster cars and better racing at Daytona, for obvious reasons, it’s almost inevitable NASCAR will return to smaller plates and mundane single-file racing on the super speedways.