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NASCAR Cup: speeds a concern for second-straight week

during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway on May 3, 2019 in Dover, Delaware.

By AMANDA VINCENT

For the second-consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race weekend, speeds in practice have caused concern. Opening practice speeds at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Friday for Sunday’s Gander RV 400 concerned multiple drivers.

“You pretty much know as a driver what too fast is,” 2015 champion Kyle Busch said. “If you have a problem here with the speeds we are carrying into the corner, it is going to hurt. The faster you go, the harder you are going to hit the wall. The IndyCar guys were flying around here, and they don’t come here anymore, because it was too fast, too dangerous for them. Eventually, there comes a point where it becomes too fast for a stock car too. Whether that is or not, I guess that is people other than myself to think, but I would much rather appreciate racing and being able to race at a more tolerable speed than we are going right now.”

During opening practice, more than 20 drivers posted laps faster than the then-qualifying record set by Brad Keselowski in 2014, led by Kurt Busch’s 21.372-second/168.445 mph lap. During qualifying Friday afternoon, five drivers, led by eventual pole sitter Chase Elliott’s 21.692-second/165.960 mph lap, surpassed Keselowski’s old mark. Keselowski’s previous Dover qualifying record was 21.892 seconds/164.444 mph.

“The faster we go, the harder it is to pass and the wider the race track needs to be,” seven-time champion and 11-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson. “The critical areas around this track are pretty narrow. And there’s really one groove around the bottom most years I’ve been here, so the tall spoiler, the higher speeds, I think that’s going to make the cars very difficult to really pass the car in front of you. So from that standpoint, I think track position is important and that’s where my concerns are.”

Speeds slowed in second practice Saturday, with Johnson leading the way with a 22.241-second/161.863 mph lap.

NASCAR was concerned about speeds a week earlier at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. After more than 20 drivers ran over 200 mph in the first of two practice sessions on April 26, ahead of the April 28 running of the Geico 500, the sanctioning body mandated the addition of a wicker strip atop the rear spoiler and gave teams a rear-gear option. The result was increased speeds and more cars topping 200 mph in the day’s second practice session. Kurt Busch led opening practice at 202.671 mph. Ryan Newman was fastest in second practice at 204.157 mph.

The Cup Series is racing with a new aerodynamic rules package this season. Variations of the package — including tapered spacers, aero ducts and larger rear spoilers and front splitters — are determined, primarily, by track layout. The race at Talladega was the first superspeedway race in over 30 years in which restrictor plates were not used.

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Posted by on May 5, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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