In response to Joey Logano’s crash at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season, NASCAR is making some rule changes.
Specifically, they are going to cut about 7-10 mph of speed from their cars at Talladega and Daytona to ensure the safety of their drivers.
NASCAR’s rule changes include the following, per Dustin Long of NBC Sports:
— Tapered spacer holes will be reduced to 53/64 of an inch in size. Previously, they had been 57/64 in size. That is the primary force that is dropping the speed of the cars.
— Wicker will be removed from the spoiler which will also help to slow down the cars.
— A roll bar will now be mandated at Talladega and Daytona events.
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These changes all stem from a crash Logano suffered on April 25 at Talladega. Logano’s car got nudged by Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit Logano’s car, causing him to launch into the air across traffic and flip over.
In the aftermath of that accident, Logano was okay, but he upset with the “dangerous” racing conditions that led to his crash. He also referenced that he was lucky not to end up in a similar situation to Ryan Newman.
“I guess I don’t know exactly what to think,” Logano said of the wreck, per NBC Sports’ Chris Estrada. “It is a product of this racing. On one hand, I am so proud to drive a Cup car that is safe, and that I can go through a crash like that and get out and speak about it. On one hand, I am mad about being in the crash and on the other, I am happy to be alive.
“On another hand, I am wondering when we are going to stop because this is dangerous doing what we are doing. I got a roll bar in my head. That is not okay. I am one hit away from the same situation Ryan Newman just went through. I just don’t feel like that is acceptable.
“A lot of it is the big spoiler and the big runs and all the pushing. It is nobody’s fault. Denny (Hamlin) is trying to go and (Stenhouse) is trying to go. It is a product of this racing. We have to fix it though. Someone already got hurt and we are still doing it, so that’s not real smart.”
That someone was Newman, who famously suffered a brutal wreck at the 2020 Dayton 500 that saw his car go airborne after being rammed at full speed. The crash left Newman unconscious and in serious condition. While he avoided life-threatening injuries, his condition was of concern in the hours and days following the race.
After these two brutal wrecks and close calls, and Austin Dillon’s scary 2015 crash at the finish line, it makes sense for NASCAR to slow the cars just a bit. The drivers will still be on a level playing field, so the races will continue to be close and exciting.
Just don’t be surprised if the cars seem like they’re going a bit slower than usual next time that NASCAR goes to Talladega and Daytona.