Sylvania 300

The New England 300 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race that is 317.4 miles (510.8 km), traditionally held in mid-September at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, the other one being the 5-hour Energy 301 in July.

The Sylvania 300 also has the distinction of being the only Sprint Cup race outside of Daytona and Talladega to run a restrictor plate race since the adoption of the current 358 cubic inch formula. After Adam Petty's fatal crash in the Busch Series practice on May 12, 2000, and Kenny Irwin, Jr.'s fatal crash in the Cup Series practice on July 7, 2000, NASCAR decided to run restrictor plates, already used for the Whelen Modified Tour races at the circuit, for the 2000 Cup race, then known as the Dura Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart.

Adding restrictor plates did have the desired result of slowing down the cars drastically, but at the same time, restricted passing so much that Jeff Burton led all 300 laps.

This lack of passing was so noncompetitive, that for Cup cars only, the restrictor plates were gone for the very next race, the 2001 New England 300.

See also:

2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

This race also has the distinction of being the only Cup race outside of Daytona and Talladega to run a restrictor plate race since the adoption of the current 358 cubic inch formula. After Adam Petty's fatal crash in the Busch Series practice in May, and Kenny Irwin, Jr.'s fatal crash in the Cup Series practice in July, NASCAR decided to run restrictor plates.

Adding restrictor plates did have the desired result of slowing down the cars drastically, but at the same time restricted passing so much that Jeff Burton led all 300 laps.

This lack of passing was so uncompetitive that, for Cup cars only, the restrictor plates were gone for the very next race. Replacing the plates was an engine kill switch, which is located on the steering wheel, and it allows drivers to halt the car if their throttle is stuck open going too hard into the turns.

From 2004 until 2010, the race served as the opening round of the "Chase for the Sprint Cup", a ten-race "playoff" designed among the top ten (twelve as of 2007) drivers in the standings of the series following the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 to spur interest in a championship series while NASCAR faces competition from the start of the NFL season and college football, the pennant races and post-season of Major League Baseball and the outset of the NHL and NBA seasons.

Beginning with the 2011 Chase, the Sylvania 300 will be the second race in the ten-race playoff; as part of a new round of schedule realignment the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway will move from its traditional early July race date.

(Source: Wikipedia)