Thursday, May 22, 2008

Surprise, Surprise....

As expected, NASCAR has set limits on the "Limbaugh setups" being used on the intermediate tracks this year:

NASCAR wants teams to cut down on rear adjustments
CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR sent a memo to Sprint Cup teams this week putting a limit on the amount of rear adjustment being made to create more sideforce. Teams have been increasingly adjusting the rear housing in an attempt to close the gap on the No. 99 car of Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards, who has won three times on intermediate tracks this season.

The adjustment basically has the back tires turned to the right with a rear toe adjustment, allowing the car to enter the turns with more speed. It's not visibly noticeable on the turns, but on the straightaways the car appears to be crabbing down the track sideways.

"The best way to describe it is a hook and ladder fire truck," series director John Darby said on Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "You're going straight down the road and that guy in the back turns the wheel to the right and the back of the fire truck goes over to the right. That's essentially what's going on."

Darby said teams have been adjusting the rear end in excess of two degrees. NASCAR limited the adjustment to one degree.

The memo came two weeks after four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon said the governing body needed to take a closer look at how far teams were going.

"When cars can't even get on the scales because they're running sideways, it's something they need to address," Gordon said at the time.

"We don't want to totally eliminate it, because it's a valuable adjustment," Darby said. "I'm sure everybody watched the 77 car [Penske Racing's, Sam Hornish, Jr.] run around here last week. He was in excess of two degrees. That gets to the obnoxious side."

Hornish, who was 34th in points with only one finish inside the top 20 through the first 11 races, finished seventh in Saturday's All-Star race that was a non-points event.

Competitors and fans commented afterwards about how sideways Hornish's car appeared on the straightaways.

"To do that requires a different axle shaft and drive plate," Darby said. "Up until this point all it takes is a toe adjustment of the housing. If you go that far, you start taking out very common, very simple, very reliable in-stock parts and putting some exotic stuff in there.

"Now we just raised the bar by what it cost to do it by triple. That's why we put the limit in there."

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