NASCAR to Reduce Speeds at Daytona, Talladega

Following a blowover crash involving Joey Logano at Talladega in April, NASCAR has issued rule changes for the remaining two superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega this season designed to slow the cars by 7-10 mph.

The update mandates a smaller tapered spacer, with the opening reduced from 57/64-inch to 53/64-inch. It also removes the wicker from the spoiler and mandates a reinforced roll bar near the rear wheel well that was previously optional.

Cup cars will make around 450 hp in these races.

The changes will first be utilized in the Cup Series regular season finale, the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 28 at Daytona International Speedway, but also in the remaining race at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3.

These are the final two superspeedway races before the current generation car gets phased out in advance of the Next-Gen slated for a 2022 Speedweeks debut in February.

During the crash, Logano was almost struck while upside down by Bubba Wallace in a manner reminiscent of the incident that hospitalized Ryan Newman on the final lap of the 2020 Daytona 500. Logano landed on his roof before blowing back over on all four tires but had the roll cage pressed against his helmet.

Ride with @BubbaWallace as he avoids @joeylogano’s No. 22 car entering Turn 3. #GEICO500

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Logano used his infield care center interview to lobby for changes.

“I’m wondering when we are going to stop because this is dangerous — doing what we are doing,” Logano said. “I got a roll bar in my head. That is not okay. I am one hit away from the same situation Ryan Newman just went through. I just don’t feel like that’s acceptable.”

As it always does with significant crashes, NASCAR opened an investigation into how to keep cars planted on the ground, especially when they turn backwards and the reversal of air generating lift off.

A day after the crash, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said that keeping cars planted to the racing surface in the event of a high-speed spin was “something that we’ve been working on and will continue to work on.”

Miller said the sanctioning body would work alongside the team to exhaust all possible solutions before returning to a superspeedway setting.

The rules bulletin also mandated that two flashing brake lights would be required on Cup Series cars in the event of rain at road-course events. NASCAR officials recently instituted the same rule for Xfinity Series events.

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