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Safety at the Racetrack: Results of Restrictor Plates in Superspeedway Competition

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  • J. Brian O'Roark

    ()
    (James Madison University, Harrisonburg)

  • William C. Wood

    ()
    (1. James Madison University, Harrisonburg)

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    Abstract

    In 1988, in an effort to reduce risks at auto races, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) implemented a provision requiring the installation of carburetor restrictor plates at its higher speed events. Restrictor plates make a car's engine less effective, thereby slowing the field. Many NASCAR drivers and fans alike question whether the reduction in speed has led to increased safety. This article investigates the empirical determinants of racetrack safety, paying particular attention to the results of restrictor-plate racing on driver safety. We conclude that whereas restrictor-plate races are characterized by more cars being wrecked, there is no systematic evidence that they have led to more driver injuries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 71 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 118-129

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    Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:71:1:y:2004:p:118-129

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    Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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    Cited by:
    1. Frick, Bernd & Humphreys, Brad, 2011. "Prize Structure and Performance: Evidence from NASCAR," Working Papers 2011-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    2. Adam Pope & Robert Tollison, 2010. "“Rubbin’ is racin''': evidence of the Peltzman effect from NASCAR," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 507-513, March.
    3. McCannon, Bryan C., 2009. "Do less-violent technologies result in less violence? A theoretical investigation applied to the use of tasers by law enforcement," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-36, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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