The Frontstretch: Voices From the Heartland: Sanctioning Body Totally Clueless...Again by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday September 22, 2011

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Voices From the Heartland: Sanctioning Body Totally Clueless...Again

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday September 22, 2011


Just a few months ago, back in May, Brian France was asked what NASCAR thought of the new ‘two car draft’ style of racing that they accidentally created back in January.

“The truth is that while it’s different, it’s just what we like,” France replied. “It’s close and competitive with spectacular finishes and record lead changes. It would be hard to us to say that we want any more out of those big speedways.”

Well hold on to your blow up seat cushions, fans, ‘cause France and company has indeed implemented a plan that they hope will get them more of what they think they want out of ‘those big speedways’ for next month’s race in Talladega.

In techno terms, ‘the size of the restrictor plate that teams will use to prepare and practice for the race will increase by 1/64 inch and is now going to be 57/64 inch diameter. This will provide the teams with an additional 7-10 horsepower. Additionally, the pressure relief valve on the cars’ cooling system will be recalibrated to reduce the pressure by approximately eight pounds per square inch’.

The big wreck that used to characterize racing at Talladega may well be seen again in droves when the Chase heads to Talladega, as NASCAR has made yet another change in an effort to incur more pack racing.

Swell! Just what we need…NOT! But hey, that’s just my opinion. Let’s hear what some of the “experts” predict will be the result of these changes. Rodney Childers, crew chief for David Reutimann gives his opinion on the changes.

“Changing the plates will be better,” Childers said. “It should make it more racy, where you can pull out and pass. If they are wanting to make it where people can’t draft as long, it’s going to do that. Probably only a half of a lap or a lap is all you’re going to get out of it.”

And what happens after that half of a lap? Well you’ll have to pass, or swap with your partner of course.

“That could make it dicey,”said Chad Johnston, crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. “Drivers will have to swap while also avoiding the two-car packs closing in behind them. The chances of something going wrong on a swap are going to go up obviously, but hopefully it will eliminate or lessen the two-by-two racing,”

I think I see what the ‘more’ is that France wants out plate racing. Not satisfied by the record number of lead changes that this type of contrived racing has produced, they want even MORE lead changes and even MORE wrecks, and I predict that that is exactly what we will see next month. Then…and THEN…Brian France, or one of his puppets, will tell us how this was the greatest Talladega race ever and we should all be grateful that these geniuses gave it to us. The one sure thing that these changes mean is that ‘Dega will be even more of a crap shoot than ever before.

Will it break up the new ‘two car draft’ style of racing? No. Those guys will still push it to the limit and then have to execute a swap while driving over 200 mph beside two other guys trying to do the same thing, who are in front of two guys who just swapped and are coming up real fast…given that they didn’t just get run over while doing the same move…yada yada yada.

Oh yeah, there will be records set next month, record lead changes, record number of ‘mini-big ones’ and possibly, record number of laps under caution.

That’s my prediction. Hide and watch!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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Chuck Ellison
09/22/2011 11:22 PM

Spot on. If NASCAR brass was anymore clueless about what fans and drivers want… we would have to build a website in protest… oh wait…Ive done that…

( and guess what? they are STILL in denial about our sports lack of “racing” (because they prefer “racetainment” and spewing PR friendly bull manure. Does NASCAR brass sit up at night trying to devise ways to drop the ratings and anger the fan base and drivers?

Sharon J
09/23/2011 06:53 AM

what a hell of a time to change restrictor plates – during the Championship races. More of Nascar trying to pick winners and losers. Brainless France should be tied in one of these race cars and go along for the ride.

09/23/2011 07:50 AM

The 57/64 (0.8906 inch opening) plate will be for 42 cars. A special 29/32 (0.9062 inch opening) plate will be issued to one certain car, and you can guess who that one is!

I’d love the job of being the one who checks all those plates to make sure they are exactly the same. But, I fully doubt the plates are, and I also doubt the plates are randomly chosen. And who really oversees the distribution of these plates? Obviously a NASCAR official, one who is well versed in Brian France’s motto, “You know what side your bread is buttered on”, and “Rick is my greatest friend and supporter”!

09/23/2011 08:23 AM

What a joke. A driver may have to depend on the help, or be the one helping, a driver whom they are supposed to be trying to beat in the stupid chase. Does not seem to be what the word “competition” means to me. Brian France just needs to go away before a once great sport is further ruined. Are you listening NASCAR?

Bill B
09/23/2011 08:58 AM

My prediction…
By the end of the first practice teams will have figured out how to keep the engine from overheating and still draft in brokeback style for many laps.
Speeds will easily top 200 mph.
After the 2nd practice NASCAR will wuss out and put the restrictor plates back to what they were (or make them smaller).

The race itself will be just like the other RP races of late…
180 laps of various drivers in 2×2 formation taking turns leading.
180 laps of most of the chase guys riding at the back of the pack (after they get their 1 point for leading a lap), a big wreck with less than 20 to go, then, (surprise, surprise) a crapshoot ending.

The Mad Man
09/23/2011 09:07 AM

Just another way for NA$CAR to manipulate things. In this case, they’re trying to manipulate a race for a record number of lead changes in order to make headlines. If you think this is bad now, just wait til they slap that restrictor plate on the obsolete fuel injection system they’ll be using. We’ll be buried under all sorts of faux headlines and records.

Obviously, when Brain Farce says “we”, he’s using the imperial “we” because he sure isn’t talking about the fans liking it. But then, what else is new with the changes he’s made that the fans don’t like?

09/23/2011 09:35 AM

I agree with the posters here, and what we will hear this weekend from all the tv and talk show personalities is how nascar is listening to the fans and how great this will be for the race. I personally dislike the wave around and lucky dog This has become a smoke and mirrors show.

09/23/2011 10:55 AM

I though NASCAR fans only watch for the crashes? So this would be a good thing, no?

Matt L
09/23/2011 08:40 PM

As long as the 2 by 2 ‘racing’ is gone, I don’t really care what size the holes are.

Talladega will always have speed and wrecks. At least a pack gives drivers more options. With two by two ‘racing’, drivers could not do anything without a partner.

09/23/2011 09:21 PM

NASCAR (Emperor Brian) wants Talladega to be a demolition derby with the last car (Johnson) running as the “winner” of the “race”, because they believe that’s want everybody wants.


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
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Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.