Editorial

The Great Plate Mistake
by Adam Sewell
August 5, 2002

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What new rules will NASCAR mandate for the next plate race?.
Photo: Adam Sewell

This past week, two rumors have surfaced about new rules that could be set in place for this Octoberís race at Talladega.  For the last few years, the fall race at Talladega has been NASCARís 500 mile test session to see if a new wild idea will make or break the Daytona 500 in the following February.

One rumor has NASCAR mandating that the teams install a smaller fuel cell, holding13 gallons.  This comes from the notion that if there are more green flag pit stops, the field would get spread out more.  All I can see this doing is causing headaches for the teams and the fans.  With current gas mileage at Talladega, this would result in a pit stop around every 25 to 30 laps.  Judging off the races at Talladega from the past few seasons, the cars all get bunched back up eventually anyway.

Danielle Frye, a spokeswoman for NASCAR, mentioned in a statement Saturday that NASCAR has not made any rules changes to mandate a smaller fuel cell.   She did say, however, that such a change is an idea that is being discussed by NASCAR officials.

The second rumor has NASCAR mandating a smaller engine, roughly half the size of the 358 cubic inch engines the teams run now.  This would give approximately 2 months for the teams to research and build new engines.

There are also reports going around that NASCAR has scheduled a major test session within the next two weeks at Talladega for the Winston Cup teams with the tentative date set for August 13th.  It is unclear what the test will center on at this time, of course it could be any number of things.   This could be a huge blow to the teams since they are in the stretch of the season that holds no off weekends.  NASCAR just needs to remember that one of their largest goals is to keep the cost to the teams down.

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Author

 
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