Restrictor Plate Racing Is An Oxymoron

That shit needs to go away before a bunch of people get killed.
I didn’t get to watch the race because I was at work but I saw the replays and it was insanity at two hundred miles an hour.

Four cars wide and four cars deep ,door to door and bumper to bumper going into a corner at a hundred and ninety miles an hour at the end, and that was just the front of the pack.

Take a wild assed guess at what happened.

25 cars piled up all at once with the leader Tony Stewart going upside down and riding on top of other cars after he turned in too far trying to block Micheal Waltrip from passing.

25 cars, that is over half the starting field, taken out at the very end of the race, all at one time.

All because of those fucking restrictor plates.

For those who don’t know what they are, it is a flat plate with four holes in it drilled to exact specifications dictated by NASCAR underneath the carburator to reduce the amount of fuel/air mixture going into the engine to reduce horse power and slow the cars down.
Without them these cars would be able to go over two hundred and thirty miles an hour down the straightaway.

So by NASCAR’s thinking, slowing the cars down makes it safer, except it doesn’t as we saw again today.

With restrictor plates, no one can make full power and no one can go any faster than anyone else basically.
That’s why you see them all bunched up and playing bumper cars at full throttle.

Just to point out the obvious to The Powers That Be,

is not racing.
That is called crashing.

Crashing is actually the opposite of racing.
Got that?

Sprint Cup racing is supposed to be the pinnacle of “Stock Car” racing and when you deliberately choke the horsepower of the engines you are turning it into parody of itsself.
That is why they have other divisions to give drivers more experience with slower cars.

Believe me, none of the drivers have a death wish and if you take the restrictor plates back the fuck off there will be a learning curve but the drivers and their crews will let you know when too fast is too fast.

Going to a race where you can guarantee a multi million dollar pile of scrap metal every time is counter productive at the very least and potentially deadly at most.

Nobody wants to see our most talented drivers get maimed or killed but for fucks sake, let them race like they are supposed to , quit being the Nanny bitches and get the hell out of their way before one or more of them does get killed because they can’t get the fuck out of the way of each other.

I grew up around racing, cars and motorcycles so I am not just spouting bullshit here.
I know that rules are needed but you are basically trapping these guys in their cars with no where to go when the shit hits the fan and that turns an already dangerous sport into a potential killing field.

The tracks were never designed for racing four cars wide to begin with and now you have just mandated it.

There needs to be a way found to spread the cars out again somehow and for all the good intentions behind it ,the restrictor plate might as well be a validated parking stub.

It was, for twenty five drivers at this race.


14 thoughts on “Restrictor Plate Racing Is An Oxymoron

  1. Identical thoughts on this the both of us for some time. I did not know of this because I quit watching years ago and this was a huge part of it.

    You and I need to be put in charge because we could find the way to make it interesting again.

    Much of that has to do with the motor and gearing.

    Remember when Jimmy Hall put sucker down fans on his Chaparral. it was like it was bolted to the track. It didn’t last long of course.

    It this kinda shit the guys in the shop want to do again as well. Just like the drivers when they have a car that when they step down on the gas it has more than the rest that given day and they can actually drive away. That deserves a win.

    The possibilities of making it fun again is attainable. If not these simple fucks deserve to go broke.

  2. That’s why I quit watching. Hell, King Richard was running 200 forty fucking years ago. And what did NASCAR do? Ban the HEMI. Smokey Yunick used to whip ass in his big block Chevelles. So NASCAR banned them. Remember how the blue oval boys whined when the Monte Carlos hit the track in the early ’90s? Now you can’t even tell what the fuck they’re driving… Bah, I’d rather watch the locals mix it up on the dirt track. Fuck NASCAR.

  3. I’m a big racing fan, although open-wheel is my addiction of choice. I follow NASCAR as well, and I too loathe the restrictor plate racing, but it was a simple answer to a complicated question: how to slow the cars down on the superspeedways so that when they inevitably crash, they don’t fly off into the grandstands when they get upside-down, which is exactly the situation that spawned the much-hated plates.

    Don’t get me wrong… I don’t know what the answer is, but allowing those slick cars to run unrestricted means that at least some (if not most) of them will be running at Talladega and Daytona in excess of 230mph. That is just too damned fast for the current superspeedway configurations. The easy answer is to extend the catch fencing up and over the track surface so that when they do get airborne (and you know they will), the cars don’t escape the confines of the track. Problem with that is the promoters don’t want to spend that kind of money and have the resulting reduction of easy viewing of the cars for spectators and the teevee audience.

    I like One Fly’s idea of a vacuum system to hold the cars down to the track… I watched the Chaparral 2J kill the field at Riverside the one time it ran there… but the suction would only work as long as the car is shiny-side up. Once the wrecking starts and the car’s underside loses contact with the tarmac, it’s flying time! As long as NASCAR wants a ‘spec car’ to run in their premier series, they will be stuck with artificially limiting the performance, with pack racing as the result.

    I know for DAMNED SURE the pack racing is 1000% better than the insipid partner racing that went on at the big tracks for the last few years, that was an abomination, although my Dad loved it, go figger. The reason we still have the plates is that no one in the NASCAR corporate offices has figured out a better way.

    Then there’s this: Smoke was trying to block his way to a victory, and his spotter simply couldn’t see that far across the track to help him out, very typical at Talladega. That is exactly what happened with Dale Sr. when he blocked Sterling Marlin on the last lap at Daytona in 2001, something he NEVER EVER DID, so that Dale Jr. and Michael Waltrip could race for the win (how’s that for a coincidence?). That block, along with his incorrectly-mounted belts and old-skool open-face helmet, cost Dale Sr. his life.

    I gotta think hard about this question to see if there’s any real-world way to a solution. Otherwise, we’re stuck with the pack, such as it is.

    Thanks for this posting!

  4. Oblio’s right. Those guys were runnin’ 200mph. Without plates they’d be runnin’ 230. At that speed, “The Big One” would likely be a “home run” into the stands.

    I was a fan of NASCAR for many years, but with the “chase”, the COT, and the ban on fistfighting and freedom of speech it might as well be WWF TV wrestling.


  5. Spec cars and restrictions on any open “big boy” class defeat the whole point.
    When it was STOCK CARS ! Detroit was competitive…

    My wifes father , the late great Ted Horn, is probably rolling in his grave. He built his own cars in his own shop and won three straight USAC championships. With todays rules, that would not be possible.

    We wonder why Amurika is no longer competitive….?

  6. Heh… these are all valid and cogent points, and from this gearhead’s POV, not off-base at all. One of the most difficult realities for me to grasp about modern top-echelon motorsports (NASCAR, IndyCar, F1, NHRA, etc.) is that competition is now altered in order to make the ‘show’ more entertaining for the teevee audience.

    Every series does it, because they are measured by their TV ratings… hell, even tickets sales don’t matter any more, as indicated by the empty grandstands at every single Nationwide race. From spec cars to debris cautions, from ‘push-to-pass’ to the rear wing DRS flap, from common body templates to restrictor plates, it is ALL designed to tighten up the competition so the on-screen drama is heightened.

    I love the Indy 500, and this year’s was one of the best in decades, but they are SPEC CARS and running around with very little difference between them. As SPEED’S Robin Miler pointed out (and to which I heartily agree), if they threw out the pule book there and only made restrictions based on safety issues, then called it ‘run whatcha brung’ like the glory days, we might see an amazing array of technologies taking part that would be awesomeness. Hybrid electrics, diesel turbos, KERS-based IC, whatever… it would be amazing to watch either in-person or on-screen, but what would the rating be? Hard to say… bet SPud likes that idea!

  7. You know that I would ! The only thing I ever raced was moto-cross and desert on bikes. In the Open class, which meant exactly that, only restrictions were minimum weight and fuel, anything else was legal. Where do they think all the modern tech came from ?

  8. The obvious root problem briefly touched on here is the tracks themselves.
    When was Talladega built, 1959?
    For the period it was, a Superspeedway.

    We all know without the tiniest fraction of a doubt they aren’t going to build new tracks so we are where we are.
    I also know that once they lose the downforce they become an out of control flying brick.
    Suction fans wouldn’t stop that but look at Indy and F1 cars to see what extremes you have to go to to keep a car on the ground at 240 MPH.
    They too become unguided missiles when they come off the ground, there is no simple answer for sure.
    My whole gripe here is the jamming of the pack together.

    Maybe a good old fashioned Le Mans running start?
    That ain’t gonna happen.
    If they are so worried about it yet still insist on running Spec cars then limit the fucking cubic inches like they do in Indy car and be done with it.

  9. I was not suggesting in any way that suction fans on Cup cars or whatever they call them now is a possible solution.

    What I was attempting to get at is open the door a bit and let the wrench’s improvise again.

    Of course cubic inches is one strong possibility.

  10. Yup… we kinda saw this one coming when he was so vocal after the race, which is not a normal part of his character. My wife thinks he was spooked by the chain of events and I can’t disagree. IMHO, he hasn’t been the same since his flaming crash in a Corvette at Sears Point in 2004 where he got burned really bad.

    I like Junior a lot, but he’s chafing in the role he has to play in order to participate in his sport of choice. Maybe it isn’t any more, I dunno. Methinks he’ll transition into a team owner sooner than most people would expect, and that would be cool with me. Seems that ex-racers can be great owners, amirite?

    My NASCAR solution: get rid of the spec cars. Go to a production-stock body template, set max cubic inches and max square feet of exterior aero, then let them have at it. I ga-ron-tee there wil be a crazy lot of different iterations of a winning car, and wouldn’t that be bitchin’ to watch? We might get cars that will lap the field 3 times like the olden days, but we might not becasue the technology will make up for the wide spread.

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