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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500: Start of the 2010 Regular Season?

Today's Auto Club 500 is the second race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. For many drivers in the garage area, however, this 250-lap race marks the start of what they refer to as "the regular season," a phrase coined by the variation in track rules throughout the NASCAR Series.   The Difference in Rules Last week's Daytona 500 had a totally different set of rules than today's race, with restrictor plates reducing speeds by more than 25 mph, thereby allowing drivers to keep the gas pedal on the floorboard. But today the out-of-bounds lines are gone, along with the restrictor plate and air-deflecting strips, making today's cars and engines the same as those that will be used in 32 of 36 regular-season races. As such, drivers wil...

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