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No restrictor plate change for Bud Shootout UPDATE Typically when speeds cross the 200-mph barrier at Daytona or Talladega, NASCAR goes to a different restrictor plate that causes less air flow to the engines and slows the cars down. NASCAR officials elected not to in this situation but did make a small change. Air hoses that were added to the cars this week will not be allowed. Teams have reached higher speeds by lining up in two-car breakaways in which the rear car pushes the front car. That move quickly causes the rear car to overheat after a few laps, so teams were allowed to add additional air hoses to help cool the engines. Those hoses will be removed, which NASCAR hopes will cause the rear car to back off after a couple of laps. But no one knows for sure how it will work or whether it will limit the two-car breakaway runs. Restrictor-plate changes or other rule adjustments still could come before the Daytona 500 next weekend, depending on what happens in Saturday night's race and how fast the cars go next week in practice and the qualifying races. ESPN

02/12/11 NASCAR will NOT change the restrictor plate size for tonight's Budweiser Shootout, Cup Series Director John Darby said Saturday morning but NASCAR is making a change in hopes of slowing the cars. Ten drivers hit 200 mph or more_ led by Joey Logano's lap of 203.087 _ in Friday night's practice session at Daytona International Speedway. Drivers were aided by cooler evening temperatures, a resurfaced race track and the ability to run several laps in a row stuck in a two-car track, building momentum and speed around the 2.5-mile speedway.

Here's what NASCAR will do, according to Darby: "There's a couple of fresh air hoses that a lot of the teams added_ that are OK, it's not something that they did outside of us knowing about it_ and we're just taking them back off,'' Darby said. "If the cars can heat up a little quicker to where we can limit the amount of laps that they push each other for all the reasons we'll probably have a little better race out of the deal. Zzzz

At tracks other than Daytona and Talladega you would have a brake duct installed and run air hoses to the brakes. Nobody uses brake cooling here, so in the same real estate, we said, all right, go ahead and put a couple of hoses in here to help to get some extra air to your radiator and oil coolers. We don't believe it's needed for a normal, functioning race car on the race track, so we're going to take it off.''

Asked about concerns with laps exceeding 200 mph, Darby said: "It's all relative. The only way they get that fast is to do multiple laps of two-car pushes to where the momentum continues to build. The exact same race cars with no change, no plate change anything else in a conventional drafting pack are currently running about 193 mph. So, that's what you've got to watch and look for.'' Virginia Pilot
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