NASCAR Officials: No Decisions Yet About Future Of Restrictor-Plate Racing At Daytona, Talladega

NASCAR acknowledged the tandem racing at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway is "different" and "takes awhile to digest," but praised the level of competition in two-car drafts during a news conference with reporters on Thursday.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said no matter what the form of racing at Daytona and Talladega, the sanctioning body will always have critics among its drivers.

"I never saw a driver get out of a car after a wreck and compliment how things were going," Pemberton said. "I haven't seen it yet."

Pemberton said it was still "too close" to the end of last week's Coke Zero 400 to make a decision on whether or not to try and change the rules to break up the two-car drafts. But he said NASCAR will "put some folks together and we'll talk about it."

He cited statistics – the number of leaders and lead changes, in particular – as evidence the tandem racing created great competition.

"There's elements of that (racing) that are different; it takes awhile to digest that," he said. "And there's quite a few folks whose opinions have changed over the course of time. It's only been since we started to repave racetracks. And really, it's a backhanded compliment to how smooth the surfaces are at Daytona and Talladega that this type of racing has evolved."

Pemberton said restrictor-plate racing will "continue to evolve" and said NASCAR would "keep an eye on it and see what comes out of it."

In other plate-related news, NASCAR says it is unsure how restrictor-plate racing will be implemented next year when electronic fuel injection is introduced full time into the Sprint Cup Series.

Currently, a metal restrictor plate is placed into the carburetor to restrict air flow – thus reducing the engine's horsepower and speed of the car. But with carburetors being replaced by fuel injection, Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said officials are unsure of what form the plates will take.

Darby said the "easiest and most economical way" to control the amount of horsepower an engine produces is to restrict the amount of air flow that goes into it.

"So we'll continue to do it that way," he said. "Will it be in the form of what we know as today's restrictor plate? Maybe, maybe not. We're looking at some other things."

Those "other things" likely won't include any electronics that would restrict the engine airflow, Darby said. NASCAR prefers to use mechanical methods to restrict the air.

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