The 2019 NASCAR rules package was revealed Tuesday (Oct. 2) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The new package brings sweeping new changes to stock car chassis going forward. There will be a 200 base horsepower decrease on tracks longer than a mile while races at Daytona and Talladega will also drop their restrictor plates.
The new rules build off the 2018 NASCAR All-Star Race package. They’ll be executed differently: aero ducts will be covered with a tapered spacer instead of a restrictor plate. But the result should still be the same at bigger racetracks. Less horsepower at these intermediate ovals should produce more downforce/aero drag.
That said, the 2019 MENCS cars will still produce 550 HP under the 2019 NASCAR rules package, up significantly from 400 HP seen at the All-Star Race. Tracks longer than a mile, with some exceptions (Atlanta, Pocono, Sonoma, Watkins Glen, Darlington and Homestead) will theoretically produce the same Daytona/Talladega style competition seen in the All-Star Race.
A number of drivers had come out against this rules package in the past month. However, it’s unclear at press time what they think of the compromises. The final tweaks provided a greater amount of horsepower and control behind the wheel.
NEWS: NASCAR announces 2019 baseline rules package for Monster Energy Series.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 2, 2018
This NASCAR rules package will also change the racing at its largest superspeedways. February’s Daytona 500 will be the last race with the current restrictor plate package. After that, the July Daytona race and both races at Talladega will run with tapered spacers. Those three races without the plates will be the first to run at NASCAR’s largest superspeedways since 1987.
“From an aero standpoint, I think you’ll see a pretty similar package to what we had in the All-Star Race and what we’ve seen in the XFINITY Series,” NASCAR Executive VP and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell explained. “Where we looked to make a little bit of a change was around horsepower. That was after discussions with the drivers [and] engine builders. [It’s] something that would produce a little more on-throttle time and have a good relationship with the aero package we put together. So we made a tweak to that.
“We think that’ll put it more in the drivers’ hands, especially as we go to some of the intermediate tracks. [We’re] excited to see how that plays out.”
NASCAR also announced a 25% reduction of in-season testing. Each organization gets just three on-track tests next year. Only three teams, not four, will be eligible for Goodyear tire tests.
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