"It was so cool [during the Shootout], when the car [water temperature] would get 275 degrees, you could peek the nose out and my car would go back down to 230 in a straightaway," McMurray said. "If it's 40 degrees hotter on Thursday it's not going to do that."
Having had two days to return to their respective bases and make the necessary changes, teams will now have a chance to run and assess the latest modifications during the next practice session later today (Wednesday) to make sure that there aren't consequences that will affect the cars' ability to make it to the full race distance without boiling dry, with NASCAR also keeping a careful eye on how things go in case further changes are required.
Even though practice on Wednesday was rained out in the morning, NASCAR decided to introduce the change to the restrictor plate size after all with immediate effect starting with today's practice sessions, which most teams had been fully expecting and had planned for. "I wouldn't be surprised from the speeds that I've seen that we could have a plate change, so we are preparing as if that might come," Ford engine builder Doug Yates had said earlier in the week.
"If you look at what creates speed, the plate would be fine as it is," Sprint Cup director John Darby had said, explaining: "If drivers never pushed each other, we'd be putting bigger plates on the cars; so that's part of what we want to watch - how the cooling system changes and what the reaction to it is, and we may not have to change the plate. That's what we've got to watch on Wednesday.
"I think we can agree, for both the competitors and NASCAR, that 206[mph] was probably a little bit too on the extreme side."