By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
The times they are a-changin’.
On Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR made the 2019 rules package for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series official, laying out specific aerodynamic and engine configuration changes geared toward improving the competition on tracks of all shapes and sizes.
Building off the package that was used in the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this season and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the basic package will be split into two groups depending on track size, with specific features for each.
Every race next season will feature a rear spoiler measuring eight inches tall by 61 inches wide, a larger front splitter, and a bigger radiator pan that tapers from 37 inches down to 31 inches. On top of that, there will be two different size tapered spacers in play (1.18 inches or 0.922 inches) depending on the track.
The smaller spacer, which takes the horsepower down to 550 from the current 750, will be used at all tracks larger than a mile, along with aero ducts in the front end of the car designed to direct air out the front wheel wells.
The only exception for the aero ducts will be both Pocono races, Atlanta, Darlington, and Homestead, which will use the smaller spacer, but not the ducts.
Short tracks and road courses will use the larger spacer, which produces 750 hp.
In addition, restrictor plates will no longer be used at Daytona and Talladega, with the smaller spacer and the aerodynamic devices on the car being substituted instead. The current restrictor plate package will be used for the 2019 Daytona 500, before shifting over to the spacers for the spring race at Talladega.
That will mark the first time since they were implemented in 1987 that restrictor plates will not be used at either Daytona or Talladega.