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NASCAR says new rules will put more racing ‘on the track’

NASCAR announced their rules package change for the 2019 season and the big takeaway was lower horsepower, except on short tracks and road courses.

CONCORD, N.C. — With the goal of making the racing better and giving drivers more chances to show off their abilities, NASCAR announced a 2019 Cup rules package that features a tapered spacer to control the engines instead of a restrictor plate.

“Simply put it’s racing less on the wind tunnel and more on the track,” said Steve O’Donnell, chief racing development officer for NASCAR of the higher downforce package that will be used next season.

“It’s taking a lot of what we want to see and putting it back in the drivers’ hands.”

Teams were given these rules Monday night.

O’Donnell said the new package will give drivers the ability to make more moves in a race.
“You’ve got to really think about different moves and you will the ability to make those passes,” he said. “Right now, unless I’m missing something in terms of what we’re watching … I don’t see the option as much going into the corner at the speed that we would have in our new package.”

No driver has yet to drive this package. It will be used at Wednesday’s Goodyear tire test at Phoenix. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Paul Menard.

The 750 horsepower package will be tested at Goodyear tests at Charlotte, Atlanta and Las Vegas.
“Let me dispel the myth that NASCAR is interested in pack racing everywhere,” O’Donnell said. “It’s taking the best of short tracks and the best of superspeedways.

“The best drivers and best teams are still going to win the race.”

O’Donnell said by backing down the speeds, it also will allow Goodyear to develop a tire that falls off more, putting more into the drivers’ hands.

At the All-Star Race, teams were limited to 400 horsepower. With this rules package, teams will have 550 horsepower at the tracks 1.33 miles and larger. With this rules package, teams will have 750 horsepower at the tracks shorter than 1.33 miles.

The Daytona 500 will again require a restrictor plate in Cup. After that, tapered spacers will be used at all other races. The restrictor plates will be retired after the Daytona 500 in Cup.

With some events having less horsepower, fuel mileage will be different. Scott Miller, senior vice president of competition, stated that for those races, NASCAR will require teams to block three gallons of the fuel cell so that the number of laps run between full fuel runs should be the same.
Aero Elements

  • Spoiler: 8” x 61”
  • Splitter: 2” overhang, 10.5” wings at ends of splitter (near tires)
  • Radiator pan: 37” in front tapered to 31” with vertical fences
  • Aero ducts: Used at majority of oval tracks larger than 1 mile

Aero Elements

  • 750 horsepower: 1.17” tapered spacer (Used at short tracks and road courses)
  • 550 horsepower: 0.922” tapered spacer (Used at oval tracks larger than 1 mile)


  • Enhanced vehicle chassis mandatory at all tracks (previously announced)
  • Adding 3 long block engine seals in points races. These are in addition to the 13 shortblock seals introduced this season.
  • 25% reduction in testing (3 organizational tests, down from 4; 3 teams at each Goodyear test, down from 4).