After Kurt Busch topped the speed chart at 202.671 mph in opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway, and 21 drivers exceeded the 200-mph mark, NASCAR added a one-inch wicker to the nine-inch-tall spoiler and gave teams the option of changing gears to lower engine rpms.
So what happened? With cars drafting in larger packs, Ryan Newman paced second practice at 204.157 mph, and 24 drivers topped 200 mph.
Between the practice sessions, Brad Keselowski didn’t seem taken aback by the rule changes.
“I think pretty much everyone coming here thought there was a large potential for an audible along the way,” Keselowski said. “I’m not frustrated. I’m just focused.”
With the taller spoiler, the cars punch a bigger hole in the air, giving Keselowski an idea of what Sunday’s GEICO 500 (2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) might look like.
“A lot like a truck race, just 500 miles,” he quipped. “Perhaps a little more attrition.”