When the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway during the second half of the season, the cars will be slower from their first trips earlier in the year. On Tuesday, NASCAR issued a rules bulletin outlining safety changes to mitigate the dangers of wrecking at such races.
One of such changes was the introduction of a smaller tapered spacer at 53/64th of an inch from the previous 57/64th. Consequently, speeds will be reduced by about seven to ten mph. The wicker has also been removed from the spoiler while a reinforced roll bar is now required after originally being optional; the bar is located behind the driver compartment.
In the April trip to Talladega, Joey Logano was involved in a wreck that sent him into the air, where he flipped onto his roof and was nearly impacted by a passing-by Bubba Wallace. While he was not injured and praised the safety improvements made by NASCAR, Logano was vocal in criticising superspeedway racing and told Fox in his interview that he was “just happy” to be alive.
“It’s a product of this racing,” he said. “We have to fix this because someone already got hurt and we’re still doing it, and that’s not real smart.”
After Ryan Newman suffered injuries in a scary wreck in the 2020 Daytona 500, NASCAR implemented a series of changes for superspeedway races that included removing aero ducts and shrinking the throttle body. A second roll bar was also added to protect the driver’s head.
The bulletin also added that two flashing brake lights are required for Cup and Xfinity Series cars for road course races in the rain. This stipulation comes weeks after NASCAR’s inaugural weekend at Circuit of the Americas in May was plagued by heavy rain that resulted in severely reduced driver visibility and consequently dangerous wrecks.