NASCAR competition officials announced rules changes Tuesday with the intent to slow Cup Series cars by approximately 7-10 mph at superspeedway events.
Officials issued the rules bulletin to teams Tuesday afternoon, mandating a smaller tapered spacer for NASCAR’s largest ovals, with the opening reduced from 57/64-inch to 53/64-inch. The rules also remove the wicker from the spoiler, and a reinforced roll bar that was previously optional — behind the driver compartment and near the rear wheel well — is now mandatory.
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The changes will be in effect for the Cup Series’ next superspeedway event, the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 28 at Daytona International Speedway. The race is scheduled as the Cup Series’ regular-season finale, and the 16-driver playoff field will be determined after its conclusion.
The rules shift comes in the wake of Joey Logano’s rollover crash in the series’ most recent superspeedway race, April 25 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford went airborne in a multicar stack-up, skidding on its roof before sliding back to a stop on all four wheels. He emerged unhurt, but was vocal in advocating for safety measures on NASCAR’s fastest ovals.
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 NASCAR competition officials would collaborate with crew chiefs, drivers and team engineers to work through all suggestions and details.
The Cup Series returns to Talladega for the final superspeedway event of the year Oct. 3. It’s scheduled as the final such race for the current-generation Cup Series model before the Next Gen car makes its debut in the 2022 Daytona 500.
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.