Aerodynamic changes announced to accompany restrictor plates for Xfinity at Indianapolis

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NASCAR is following one unprecedented move with another at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In the wake of the news that restrictor plates will make their debut at the 2.5-mile track for the July 22 race, NASCAR announced Thursday that it will equip the cars with “aero ducts” for the first time.

The ducts are designed to improve the airflow through the front wheel wells, theoretically enhancing the opportunity for passing on the flat track (which notoriously has been difficult to navigate for stock cars).

NASCAR also will use a taller spoiler and wider splitter (with the same dimensions as 2016) and the 7/8th-inch restrictor plate, which cuts horsepower by reducing airflow to the engine.

NASCAR tested the plates last Oct. 11 with Blake Koch (Kaulig Racing), Ryan Reed (Roush Fenway Racing) and Brandon Jones (Richard Childress Racing).

RCR director of competition Dr. Eric Warren said this week on SiriusXM Satellite Radio that the plate would need to be combined with some aerodynamic tweaks.