NASCAR changes Cup restrictor plate size after McMurray goes airborne

Image by Harrelson/LAT

NASCAR changes Cup restrictor plate size after McMurray goes airborne

NASCAR

NASCAR changes Cup restrictor plate size after McMurray goes airborne

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In the interest of safety, NASCAR has informed teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series it will change the size of the restrictor plate for the remainder of the weekend.

Teams will now use a 55/64ths plate for Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session as well as in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The previous size of the plate was 7/8ths.

By decreasing the size of the holes, it will slow the cars by 12 to 14 horsepower.

The move comes hours after Jamie McMurray went for a wild ride during final practice. McMurray went airborne and barrel-rolled after being hit in the left-side by Ryan Newman.

“Slow the cars down,” Newman said after the crash. “Never seen a car get airborne sitting in the garage. Never once. The closer to zero you are, the less likely you are to get airborne. Simple as that.”

Brad Keselowski expected changes would occur before the official announcement came down.

“The cars are about five to 10 miles per hour faster than they have been here in the last two or three decades,” said Keselowski. “The liftoff speed is probably a concern, not just for me but for everybody. With the cars handling the way they are handling, you will need to single-file out to survive this race.

“I think that is probably not the expectation of what we want to put on for a show. I would expect there to be some changes for sure. As to what they might be, I don’t know. As to whether whatever changes are made will be successful, I don’t know that either. I would expect some kind of move to be made.”

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