NASCAR makes key rules changes

Jan. 21, 2010 at 9:42 PM
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CONCORD, N.C., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- NASCAR Chairman Brian France announced changes Thursday that are expected to create more dramatic, and dangerous, driving at the sport's high-speed tracks.

Cars will be allowed to obtain more horsepower at the Daytona International Speedway and drivers will now be allowed to bump into the back of other cars in the turns at both Daytona and Talladega.

"Over the past 10 years, we've dramatically increased safety and that mission continues," France said in announcing the changes. "However, it's time for us to allow the drivers to drive. We don't want the rules and regulations to get in the way of great racing and fantastic finishes.

"NASCAR is a contact sport. Our history is based on banging fenders."

Rules concerning horsepower and the so-called bump-drafting technique had been enforced in recent years at both Daytona and Talladega, creating what drivers felt was boring racing. With limits on horsepower, cars have had to line up single file at those tracks.

The horsepower increase at Daytona will be achieved by creating larger holes in a car's restrictor plate.

And with cars now able to bump fenders through the turns, it will be possible for a trailing car to shove a leading car out of the way in the race to the finish line.

"We will put it back in the hands of the drivers, and we will say, 'Boys, have at it and have a good time,'" NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said.

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