No, you are not hallucinating. NASCAR has announced that restrictor plates will be used in the May 19th all-star race. I can’t say I saw that one coming.
On the other hand, NASCAR has been known to frequently tweak the race. It’s another case where a fan has to remind themselves every year what the current rules are. This is definitely one of the more interesting ones as these days, restrictor plates are only used at Daytona and Talladega, the largest of the superspeedways.
No doubt the move will play to mixed reviews. We’ll be much less concerned about the cars getting strung out, that’s for sure. To one who is more of a racing purist, it has the feel of manipulating the competition. It’s kind of like saying you have to run in a track meet with ankle weights on.
You can also be sure that drivers will complain if we end up with a bunch of wadded up cars. There’s no points awarded from the event; it’s all about the purse and pride. If you think drivers get a little crazy at Daytona, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
On the other hand, the dynamic will be a little different as the banking is quite the same. Imagine the speeds the cars would hit these days without the restrictor plates at Daytona or Talladega.
Charlotte Motor Speedway has been likened to a petris dish. In terms of this fan’s reaction, it like, “Why not?” One thing’s for sure, we’re far less likely to see some long, drawn out parade.
If you really want impress me, how about this? Take the shackles off the teams and let them go all Smokey Yunick in terms allowing them to push the envelope? Sure, you have to have some restrictions, but let’s see what happens if you let the teams have some freedom on some of their car prep?
But of course, I dream.