Kenny Wallace on NASCAR restrictor plate package

Lead changes at Talladega are way down – Why?

The 2000 Talladega race was won by Dale Earnhardt. The race featured 49 lead changes.

In 2011, the race featured 88 lead changes. However, since 2012-2013, there has been a steep and steady decline in lead changes.

In 2013, NASCAR launched the Gen-6 model of the NASCAR race car. That package has been largely modified but it’s still in use to this day.

Gen-6 NASCAR Race car testing at Talladega in 2012
TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 03: Cars race during Gen-6 2013 testing at Talladega Superspeedway on October 3, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kenny Wallace

“The package that was good for the sport was when we could go from the back to the front,” Kenny Wallace states via The Late Shift on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

“Honestly, I don’t know if it could be used to this day. We messed with aerodynamic packages back in the day and they meant something. They did something.”

“It just seems like now with this new car, over the last 10 years. This new car at Daytona and Talladega, you can move the needle. But, you just don’t move it like you used to. When was the last time we saw somebody go from the back to the front?”

“In 2000, Earnhardt and I started dead last. In 8 laps, we were leading the race. For some reason, they cannot get that to work on these new style cars.”

“How come they cannot do that? It must be because of this new car.”

Ty Dillon
Ty Dillon

Bootie Barker

“There was 35 cars that had a possibility to win that race,” Bootie Barker, Crew Chief of the #13 of Ty Dillon states of last weekend’s event.

“The reason you ain’t seeing Dale Jr go to the highside and pass everybody – Is because everybody’s stuff is so equal. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing.”

“You know, to do what you’re saying and work through the field, you’re going to have to have 10 more hp than the next guy. Or 5 more horsepower and 10 less counts of drag. Everybody’s got good stuff these days, that’s not gunna happen.”

“I don’t think it’s as much an aero package as it is just equality amongst the cars.

Talladega Lead Changes

2010 (88); 2010 (87);
2011 (88); 2011 (72);
2012 (34); 2012 (54);
2013 (30); 2013 (52);
2014 (48); 2014 (38);
2015 (27); 2015 (30);
2016 (37); 2016 (31);
2017 (26); 2017 (30);


Bootie Barker

Kenny Wallace
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Talladega Superspeedway
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