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Daytona Gatorade Duels Practices: Rain And Restrictor Plates; TV Update

On-track action at Daytona is being delayed by rain that fell earlier this morning. The Nationwide cars never made it on track for their first of three practice sessions scheduled for today, and the first of two Sprint Cup practices appears likely to be a washout as well. Drying the 2.5-mile superspeedway, especially with 80% humidity, will likely take some time and a chance of rain remains in the forcast.

As expected, NASCAR has announced a change to the size of the carburetor restrictor plate. The new plate, which is smaller than the one used in Saturday’s Bud Shootout, is expected to cut the output of the engines by about 13 horsepower while also lowering the car’s RPMs, which were unusually high Saturday night, to a more normal level for superspeedway racing. The move comes on the heels of drafting speeds in excess of 206 miles per hour; NASCAR historically alters the restrictor plate anytime speeds in the draft near or surpass the 200 miles per hour mark.

TV note: The Nationwide Series practice scheduled for 3 p.m. eastern will be carried on Speed.

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