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Daytona 500: NASCAR Announces Air Inlet Rule Change

In an effort to curtail the two-car drafts that were prevalent in Saturday’s Bud Shootout, NASCAR has announced a rule change designed to limit cooling to its Sprint Cup cars.

The air inlet on the nose of the cars has been reduced to 2 1/2 inches tall by 20 inches wide. In addition, the pressure release valve on the cars’ water system now will be 33 pounds per square inch.

The move’s desired effect is to bring down the maximum operating temperature of the engines to a more standard 250 degrees and, thus, prevent drivers from locking into two-car tandems for several laps in a row. In Saturday’s race, some cars nearly reached 300 degrees while pushing another car before their drivers had to pull out of their respective two-car drafts to allow air into the front of the car and cool the engine back down.

The change will go into effect starting with Wednesday’s two practice sessions, the next time the Sprint Cup cars take the track.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.