TALLADEGA, Ala – It didn’t take long, but we have another rules package change for this weekend at the Talladega Superspeedway. Following a meeting with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams after opening practice on Friday afternoon, NASCAR officials tweaked the rules package for the 2.66-mile track by adding a 1-inch wicker to the cars’ spoiler in an effort to quell concerns with engine rev and top-end speeds.
Per NASCAR, with the addition of the wicker — an angled metal strip attached to the top end of the spoiler to increase drag — teams also have the options of changing gears without being penalized, provided that change occurs before qualifying.
They did this because 21 drivers eclipsed the 200 mph barrier in practice with eight being over 202 mph. With the fear of increasing speeds and keeping the cars safe and grounded, it was time for an adjustment.
Friday’s session was the first at a superspeedway under the 2019 rules package, which uses 0.922-inch tapered spacers instead of restrictor plates, a 9-inch rear spoiler and a 1-inch bolt-on track bar mount, which raises the rear of the car by an inch.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller and Jay Fabian, managing director of the Monster Energy Series, made rounds in the garage during opening practice to check in with teams and to seek feedback on the speeds and cars.
Fabian was in the garage prior to final practice Friday afternoon showing teams how to install the wicker.