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

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  • J. Brian O'Roark
  • William C. Wood

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.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Brian O'Roark & William C. Wood, 2004. "Safety at the Racetrack: Results of Restrictor Plates in Superspeedway Competition," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 71(1), pages 118-129, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:soecon:v:71:y:2004:i:1:p:118-129
    DOI: 10.1002/j.2325-8012.2004.tb00627.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jason P. Berkowitz & Craig A. Depken II & Dennis P. Wilson, 2011. "When Going in Circles is Going Backward: Outcome Uncertainty in NASCAR," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(3), pages 253-283, June.
    2. 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 (IfW Kiel).

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