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NASCAR Hall of Fame - Lesson 02 - Restrictor Plate Races

Eventually, Everybody Wrecks!

In NASCAR there are different tracks that require a team and driver to have different car setups. Some of these tracks require drivers to use a restrictor plate in their cars. This doesn’t necessarily give any driver a direct advantage or disadvantage (although some drivers understand the restrictor plate strategy better than others). NASCAR fans love restrictor plate races, because they always produce the “Big One” or a big wreck near the end of the race. For DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR players the “Big One” can ruin an excellent line.

What is a Restrictor Plate?

The term restrictor plate is pretty self explanatory in itself, but a basic definition for NASCAR is that a plate is placed over the engine intake to control the amount of air available to the engine. By controlling the flow of air the power in the car is limited and thus drives down the speed in the car. NASCAR implemented the use of restrictor plates at superspeedways (tracks over 2 miles long) in 1988, after a couple of horrific wrecks at these track types.

The Tracks

There are two restrictor plate tracks on the NASCAR circuit, Daytona and Talladega. The NASCAR season kicks off annually with a 500 mile restrictor plate race at Daytona. Daytona sets up as a 2.5 mile superspeedway and starts every season with a lot of excitement. Daytona also holds the annual July 4th weekend race. Talladega is a little longer and comes in at 2.66 miles. Before the addition of the restrictor plate in 1988 drivers clocked times well over the 200 mph mark. At an unsanctioned test in 2004, Rusty Wallace clocked a time of 216 mph at the track.

During these races drivers all tend to stick together. When drivers are packed together it provides a reduced airflow and allows drivers to draft. While watching these races it seems like drivers stay in packs for a large part of the race, even up until the final laps.

Why it Matters to DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR

So you are wondering why this information matters for you in DK’s Fantasy NASCAR game. Because of the speed limitations and the drivers being bunched together there are usually wrecks that take out half of the drivers in the race. In 2014 at Daytona a wreck took out half of the entire field. This is why it is extremely important to hedge these races and look to be different from the norm in GPP’s during these races. Look for drivers that are known for being conservative and hanging back until the big one happens. Or look for try to expose yourself to more drivers and hedge with your plays. If you do this you can avoid a total collapse at these restrictor plate tracks.

Continue Reading NASCAR Training Camp

NASCAR Hall of Fame – Lesson 01 – Part Time Drivers
NASCAR Hall of Fame – Lesson 02 – Restrictor Plate Races
NEXT LESSON – NASCAR Hall of Fame – Lesson 03 – NASCAR Tilt/Ecstasy

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