FanDuel - WFBC

April 06, 2003

Three laps into the Aaron's 499 NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway today, the car of Ryan Newman blew a tire, causing a 27-car crash that took out half of the field, leaving a bunch of NASCAR drivers as angry as Korean short-track skating fans.

posted by rcade to other at 03:13 PM - 8 comments

That's why people go to these things right? To see crashes? Now I've established that no one was hurt, does anyone have any links to pictures of it?

posted by squealy at 03:34 PM on April 06

Here? If that doesn't work, go to this article, scroll down a little bit and click "Photo Gallery" on the right.

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:23 PM on April 06

Nice one wc2002. So the point being made is that these "restrictor plate" races are designed to make the races safer, but in effect lead to widespread bunching of the field. Thus any accident has a greater chance of having a more cars involved. Why not just get rid of them if it don't work? Is there some kinda politics involved in this?

posted by squealy at 01:35 AM on April 07

If you take away the restrictor plates, you end up with the cars travelling at FAR too great a speed on these specific tracks. I think NASCAR would rather see a slower, multicar collision than one or two cars go into the retaining wall at a higher, deadlier speed. Because the cars are so bunched up, these collisions are far less dangerous. The damage is more "death by a 1000 cuts" instead of one massive impact. The safety harnesses and car designs are able to handle the smaller car-car impacts better. And like squealy said, what do you think the fans are going to enjoy more: close, small collision filled races or strung-out, high-impact crashes that might seriously injure their heroes?

posted by grum@work at 05:46 AM on April 07

Let's not forget cars that fly into the crowd. I remember seeing video of that once. Nasty. Is that pretty much a thing of the past?

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:53 AM on April 07

Nowadays the Daytona 500 qualifying is around 185 mph. In 1987, the last year before they tried to restrict it, it was 210 mph. That's quite a difference.

posted by Smackfu at 09:54 AM on April 07

Since the teams already build special engines for these races, why not just have them use a smaller engine instead of the restrictor plates?

posted by gyc at 03:07 PM on April 07

Since the teams already build special engines for these races, why not just have them use a smaller engine instead of the restrictor plates? I've thought the same thing before, but I'm not certain that the same dynamic wouldn't happen. Sure, a six cylinder car would have more throttle response, but you'd still be dependent on the draft. You'd need to assemble a pack of 20 experimental cars in order to test this out. That's probably why NASCAR has done so little to avoid the restrictor plate pileups.

posted by machaus at 02:44 PM on April 08

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