New engine program the wild card as Nationwide turns to California

The restrictor plates are gone, Daytona is in the rearview mirror and the Nationwide Series starts for real this weekend at California Speedway, writes Mark Ashenfelter.

Updated: February 22, 2008, 10:32 AM ET
By Mark Ashenfelter | ESPN.com

FONTANA, Calif. -- With Daytona out of the way, it's time to start finding out what the landscape in the Nationwide Series will really look like this season.

The restrictor plates are gone until Talladega, and Saturday's race at California Speedway will give an indication as to which teams have best adapted to the new engine rules being enforced this season.

It's a safe bet that the changes -- designed to increase engine durability, giving lesser-funded teams ...

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