Superspeedways

The biggest NASCAR Cup Series track (by length) is Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. It measures at 2.66 miles. For all NASCAR national series, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Total Speed RankingDriverDaytona #1Talladega #1Daytona #2Talladega #2Avg. Speed Rank
1Chase Elliott33284
2Ty Dillon241165.75
3Jimmie Johnson115957.5
4William Byron5105138.25
5Ricky Stenhouse Jr12522110
5John H. Nemechek17181410
7Bubba Wallace21611410.5
8Ryan Blaney49112512.25
9Kurt Busch62331812.5
10Tyler Reddick91752012.75
10Chris Buescher82251612.75
12Alex Bowman718102214.25
13Brad Keselowski1220161014.5
14Joey Logano1021171114.75
15Austin Dillon158231515.25
16Daniel SuarezX3114316
17Ryan Newman1116201916.5
18Matt DiBenedetto1613182317.5
19Christopher Bell211313918.5
20Erik Jones34277718.75
21Ryan Preece306301119.25
22Matt KensethX2842820
23Denny Hamlin1918153221
24Kyle Busch2722201721.5
24Aric Almirola242832221.5
26Michael McDowell2610243022.5
27Cole Custer3312262123
28Martin Truex Jr2028182723.25
29Ross Chastain14X34X24
30Clint Bowyer352629824.5
31Kevin Harvick2325282826
32Corey Lajoie2924272526.25
33Brennan Poole3832312431.25
34Justin Haley27XX3732
35Brendan Gaughan3734333534.75
36Quin Houff3636353335
37Timmy Hill3238373435.25
38James DavisonXX363636
39Joey Gase3935383837.5
40BJ McLeod4037XX38.5
41JJ YeleyX3939X39
42Josh BilickiXX40X40
  • Reduction in size of throttle body from 59/64” to 57/64” (superspeedways only). Probst: 'When you look at the goal of slowing the cars down, obviously the restriction from 59/64” to 57/64.
  • The Oldest Super Speedway In America Is Right Here In Indiana And It’s Amazing We have a lot of interesting historic places and events here in Indiana, and we’re pretty proud of our state heritage.
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A few months ago, the entire NASCAR community was forced to hold its collective breath for hours as it awaited word on the condition of Ryan Newman.

After a last-lap Daytona 500 crash that sent his No. 6 Ford Mustang tumbling down the frontstretch, Newman was silent on his radio, eventually removed from the car by track officials and taken to a nearby hospital. Twenty-year-old memories inevitably entered the minds of those who remember the day Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.

Newman survived the accident thanks to the endless work NASCAR has done since Earnhardt's wreck to improve the safety of its cars. But another close call meant more improvements needed to be made. Hence the rule changes that are being implemented for Sunday's race at Talladega, the first at a superspeedway since the Daytona 500 in February.

MORE: Fox finally airs audio of the Newman crash

NASCAR, which conducted an investigation into the physics of Newman's crash at Daytona, implemented the new rules in a May 1 technical bulletin, but most of them apply for the first time this week at Talladega. Primarily, the idea is to slow down the cars at these 2.5-mile monsters of race tracks to prevent them from flipping the way Newman's did after contact with the wall.

Below are the changes with the new rules package, followed by explanations of each each.

New NASCAR rules package at Talladega

How Many Superspeedways Does Nascar Race At

Superspeedways
  • Addition of a lower main roll bar support bar #20 / intrusion plate and upper main roll bar support bar #21 (mandatory superspeedways, optional elsewhere).
  • Elimination of aero ducts at superspeedway tracks.
  • Reduction in size of throttle body from 59/64” to 57/64” (superspeedways only).
  • Updated roll bar padding specifications (mandatory at all tracks beginning June 1).
  • Oil reservoir tank or overflow expansion tank must contain a check valve (mandatory at all tracks beginning with Talladega).
  • Slip tape must be applied along the entire length of the lower rearward facing surfaces of the rear bumper cover and extension (superspeedways only).

The following explanations of the rule changes are from NASCAR senior VP of innovation and racing development John Probst and senior director of safety engineering John Patalak. Both spoke with media during a recent teleconference.

  • Addition of a lower main roll bar support bar #20 / intrusion plate and upper main roll bar support bar #21 (mandatory superspeedways, optional elsewhere).

Probst: 'With respect to the 6 car investigation. ... These bars, located on the driver's side, connecting the main roll hoop to either the rear down bars, which are the 13 bars, and also to the rear subframe. The rear subframe bar also has a plate that was added, 85 thousandths of an inch thick.

Patalak: 'The Earnhardt bar existed before this update. What was added is referred to as the 12A bar, center roof support bar. That was similar to one of those bars that helps support the roof.'

  • Elimination of aero ducts at superspeedway tracks.

Probst: 'The elimination of the aero ducts at the superspeedway tracks were removed to try to mitigate the likelihood that cars could tandem draft. Then also the reduction of the power would likely reduce the likelihood of tandem as well.

Superspeedways List

Patalak: 'I would say that this should eliminate (tandem drafting). I also know (teams) will all be working to try and get back to some form of it. I think with the reduction in power, the aero ducts going away, that will make sort of a smaller hole, if you will, that should make it much more difficult to get into that configuration.'

MORE: Ryan Newman's recovery timeline, from Daytona crash to NASCAR return at Darlington

  • Reduction in size of throttle body from 59/64” to 57/64” (superspeedways only).

Probst: 'When you look at the goal of slowing the cars down, obviously the restriction from 59/64” to 57/64” is an expected horsepower loss of somewhere between 35 and 40 horsepower, which general rule of thumb the teams use is 30 horsepower per second. With the 40 horsepower, we'd expect the cars to slow down by over a second compared to what they would have run.'

Patalak: 'I would say that slowing the cars down surely should and would help from an aero liftoff standpoint. I would say our findings from the Ryan Newman crash, his liftoff was not due to an aero event but from him getting into the wall. The idea there is reducing the speeds of the car, slowing them down. We would expect speeds under the 200 mile-an-hour barrier here. So from that standpoint slowing the cars down, keep from having as violent wrecks.'

Probst: '(A) larger (spoiler) wasn't really a good option. The more direct knob for us to turn to slow the cars down is directly to the horsepower. So we have worked with the engine builders on this front. The most direct way to slow them down is with horsepower.'

Patalak: 'In general, when we can slow the speeds down, it's going to be of benefit for the crash itself, for the driver in the car. It will also affect the loads on the vehicle and how the SAFER barrier responds. Directionally it's the right way to go.'

  • Updated roll bar padding specifications (mandatory at all tracks beginning June 1).

Superspeedways

Probst: 'The key there is we didn't really do anything but ensure that the existing roll bar padding as it can be purchased from all of the vendors is used in the form it is purchased and not modified in any way.'

  • Oil reservoir tank or overflow expansion tank must contain a check valve (mandatory at all tracks beginning with Talladega).

Superspeedways In Nascar

Probst: 'One of the items seen post (Newman) incident was the fluid coming out of the trunk which was confirmed to be oil. Those fixes are intended to mitigate the loss of oil in that situation when the car is upside down.'

  • Slip tape must be applied along the entire length of the lower rearward facing surfaces of the rear bumper cover and extension (superspeedways only).

Probst: 'The idea there would be if they are tandem drafting or bump-drafting to minimize the ability of one car to upset the balance of another. It won't eliminate it, but should be a mitigating part. ...

Nascar Superspeedways Logos

'The thought behind the slip tape to the rear bumper, when one car makes contact with the rear bumper of the other, there probably are two main ways for that to transmit a load into the bumper of the other car and destabilize it. One would be the friction between the nose of the car hitting and the tail of the car being hit. The idea there is that the slip tape would mitigate that mechanism of load transfer, for lack of a better term. ...

'The way the slip tape works, it reduces the friction between the two surfaces. It would also be like ice. We're trying to make the rear bumper of the car being hit like ice, where they slide across, don't contact and start influencing the car in front laterally, left to right, if you will.'