Talladega II: Yates responds to restrictor plate change

NASCAR announced on Saturday morning that beginning with qualifying this afternoon a smaller restrictor plate would be issued to NEXTEL Cup teams for the remainder of the UAW-Ford 500 weekend. The new restrictor plate will have four holes ...

NASCAR announced on Saturday morning that beginning with qualifying this afternoon a smaller restrictor plate would be issued to NEXTEL Cup teams for the remainder of the UAW-Ford 500 weekend. The new restrictor plate will have four holes seven-eighths of an inch in diameter, one-64th of an inch smaller than the ones used on Friday. Doug Yates, co-owner of Robert Yates Racing, commented on how the change will affect the motors and whether he has any concerns associated with the change.

DOUG YATES, Co-Owner, Robert Yates Racing

DID YOU ANTICIPATE THE RESTRICTOR PLATE CHANGE THAT WAS ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING? "You could kind of see yesterday that the speeds were on the edge of being where they were too fast for NASCAR. Todd (Parrott) and I talked about it, and he felt like there may be a change coming. I walked in this morning and they said they had a crew chief meeting, and even before we went, we kind of knew what was going on. It makes the engine builders nervous because the jetting and the gearing are the two things that it would change. We took our best guess and hopefully what comes out will be OK. Reliability-wise, it's going to decrease the RPMs, so from a valve train standpoint it's probably safer for Sunday than it would have been with the other gear because we're going to turn less RPMs. As a racer you just wish you had a chance to work on I, and I'm sure that's why they didn't tell us earlier because we'd be home changing heads and cams and manifolds to match the new rule. With safety in mind, I think it's a good change. It looked pretty fast out there yesterday from what we've been in the past. We'll have to see how our stuff runs. Hopefully this change will affect the Ford engines less than the other guys."

WILL YOU BE ABLE TO TELL FROM QUALIFYING TODAY HOW THE ENGINE WILL AFFECTED? "It's an impound race so there's not a chance to do anything after qualifying. NASCAR does a great job with safety and that's what we all have to keep in mind, number one. I think from a Ford engine standpoint, hopefully what we'll see is that our engine is tuned a little better to this plate than the other guys and we'll have a good day today and tomorrow."

HAVE YOU TESTED THE SMALLER PLATE ON AN ENGINE IN THE PAST? "No, because you work with what you've got and you build your whole combination to the plate, the size that you're dealt with. I didn't anticipate this change, and even if I did, it'd been nice to have some data on the dyno before we came down here, but we didn't. We don't know how many horsepower slower we'll be or the exact mph loss we'll see from the change. That's not a normal practice just to look at different plates."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing , CIP