Most of the issues we were talking about at the start of the year regarding the measures NASCAR has taken to eliminate or reduce the two-car draft are still in play, so I thought I’d put the most important in one place as you start getting ready for Talladega this weekend.
One of the major changes is the radiator: The water capacity was decreased, which means that it can’t cool as effectively as it could with a larger volume of water. That limits how long cars can draft together in close formation, where the trailing car’s radiator is blocked and doesn’t get as much air circulating.
A related issue is the small, but extremely important limiter on the radiator called a pop-off valve This is one of the easiest last-minute changes NASCAR can make to adapt to changing temperatures — and new innovations teams have made to get around the current rules.
Finally, it seems as though bump drafting has gotten harder to do correctly. It’s all a matter of preventing cars from getting torqued. Literally.