The addition of restrictor plates isn’t the only change NASCAR is making to the Xfinity Series cars for the July race at Indianapolis.
The sanctioning body made the announcement of the plates for the July 22 race official on Thursday. The NASCAR release also said the cars will have taller spoilers and have aero tweaks on the front bumpers of the car.
Those tweaks will be the addition of aero ducts. Air will go through the ducts and be expelled on the side of the car with the goal of creating a bigger vacuum for a trailing car to get a run on the car ahead.
“We saw the cars were closer together, but we weren’t able to create some passing until we introduced the aero ducts,” NASCAR vice president Gene Stefanyshyn told NASCAR.com. “That’s the main purpose of the ducts, to give the trailing car more of an advantage … we always hear about clean air and how the leader has clean air. Our objective here is to try to give the trail car more benefit.”
NASCAR tried to use higher spoilers along with more modifications for more drag with the Cup Series cars in 2015 at Indianapolis. The idea was that the higher spoilers would allow trailing cars to get a big run on the cars ahead on the straightaways and complete a pass heading into the corners.
In reality, that didn’t happen. Drivers complained they could close quickly on another car but would hit a virtual wall when it came time to make a pass. That’s why taller spoilers themselves wouldn’t work.
Stefanyshyn also said not to expect giant packs of cars at Indianapolis like Daytona and Talladega, the two other restrictor plate tracks on NASCAR’s schedule. Instead, the expectation is to have multiple packs of a handful of cars “and in each of those groupings we’re hoping to see passing on the straightaways.”
– – – – – – –