New NASCAR rules have drastically increased speeds at tracks under a mile in length
NASCAR introduced a new set of rules for the 2019 racing season. At tracks under 1-mile, cars are now running with significantly more downforce and the same horsepower.
At most tracks, we’ve seen a huge reduction in horsepower. That’s not at all the case this weekend.
While the other tracks have seen the use of a tapered spacer to reduce horsepower. Dover is one of the few races that sees the higher downforce in addition to the same horsepower of last year.
The cars are now running the same speed down the straights at Dover International Speedway. But, the corner speeds are up significantly. The added downforce alone has allowed that to happen.
2019 NASCAR Rules for Dover: Taller rear spoiler, larger front splitter overhang and a standard radiator pan all add to the downforce counts.
In the opening round of practice, 23 drivers went faster than the track record. Chase Elliott then confirmed the new track record in qualifying at 21.629 seconds and an average speed of 165.960.
For comparisons sake, last year, Kyle Larson took the pole at Dover with a 22.770 second lap and an average speed of 158.103 mph.
The fastest they go, the harder they crash…
Kyle Busch on NASCAR speeds at Dover
“Yeah, there’s no question that you feel you’re going really fast. It’s really fast,” Kyle Busch said after practice.
“It’s probably too fast. The faster we tend to go in the middle of the corners, it doesn’t always produce the best racing. We’ll see how that translates.”
“I’m not overly excited about it. We’ll just have to fight through it and see what happens.”
“For the qualifying laps, you weren’t all the way out of the gas. You were out at 20% throttle for probably 200 feet. Then, you’re starting to feed it back gas, as quickly as you can in order to get the run off the corner and down the straight-away.”
“Lots of on throttle time. You’re never all the way out of it.”
“You pretty much know, as a driver, what too fast is. If you have a problem here now, with the speeds we’re carrying through the corners, it’s going to hurt. It’s really going to hurt.”
“The faster you go, the harder you’re going to hit the wall. The Indycar guys, they were flying around here and they don’t come here anymore because it was too fast. It was dangerous for them.”
Indycar visited Dover between 1998-1999. But how fast is too fast for the stock car racing world?
“Eventually, there comes a point where it could be too fast for a stock car as well. Whether it is or not, I guess that’s for people other than myself to think.”
“But, I’d much rather appreciate racing and being able to race at a more tolerable speed than what we’re going right now,” Kyle Busch concluded.
NASCAR Cup Series: Starting Lineup (Dover)