The stock cars for the race at Talladega Superspeedway will see a reduction in the horsepower, thereby, decreasing the speed of the cars.
NASCAR officials John Probst, NASCAR’s vice president of innovation and racing development, and John Patalak, director of safety and structure engineering, shed light on how the stock cars to be used at Talladega Superspeedway will be different from the ones used at Daytona International Speedway in February. The reason for the changes is to prevent the type of accident Ryan Newman suffered in the Daytona 500.
The horsepower is expected to be reduced by 35-40 horsepower leading to a “slow down of over a second (per lap)”. Probst said:
“The expected horsepower loss of somewhere between 35 and 40 horsepower, which general rule of thumb the teams use is 30 horsepower per second.
“With the 40 horsepower, we’d expect the cars to slow down by over a second (per lap) compared to what they would have run.”
Patalak said the slowing down of the cars would “help from an aero liftoff standpoint”.
“Stopping a wreck from happening would be pretty difficult. I would say that slowing the cars down surely should and would help from an aero liftoff standpoint. I would say our findings from the Ryan Newman crash, his liftoff was not due to an aero event but from him getting into the wall. The idea there is reducing the speeds of the car, slowing them down. We would expect speeds under the 200-mph barrier here. So, from that standpoint, slowing the cars down, keep from having as violent wrecks.
“Like I said, I mean, when the checkered flag is out for the Daytona 500, any of our races for that matter, the opportunity for accidents is high. I think the changes you see here that we’ve put forward, it’s to ensure that once a chain of events like that are set into motion, we have all the safety mechanisms in place to mitigate the outcome, negative outcomes, I should say.”