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Will practice crashes bring and end to bump drafting?

By admin | February 4, 2010

By Richard Allen

When NASCAR announced they were going to reverse the policy instituted last season at Talladega and again allow drivers to bump draft I had the fear that after a couple of practice wrecks they might once again take away the bump draft.

Well, they’ve now had some practice crashes. As a matter of fact, the drivers made it barely a half an hour into the first Bud Shootout practice before they managed a ‘big one’. No less than eight cars were involved in crashes and most of those teams were forced to pull the backup car off the truck.

After his hard hit in the second practice Kurt Busch explained that the closing rate is very fast and drivers just need some time to get used to it.

In the past when things such as this have gone wrong NASCAR’s reaction has been to overreact and over legislate.

Last season at Talladega when NASCAR announced the no bump drafting rule just before the race is one example. Another example occurred when a few years ago cars had their camber angles off at Pocono. A number of them blew tires, NASCAR then started dictating exactly what the angles could be. There are other examples of gear ratios, shock rates, tire pressures and a myriad of other parts and pieces in which NASCAR has dictated instead of allowing teams to experiment.

NASCAR seems to think it is their job to protect teams and drivers from themselves. What is wrong with allowing teams to fail while at the same time allowing them to possibly find a new way to succeed?

As has been said over the past several days, the theme of this off-season is that NASCAR is listening. Hopefully that is true and hopefully they will not feel the need to over legislate in this case. Give the drivers time and let them figure out how to do this. If they can’t they will lose and sometimes experience is the best legislation of all.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Will practice crashes bring and end to bump drafting?”

  1. Charles Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Richard I dont like crashes or see anyone hurt as much as anyone!

    But I think even if they wreck alot! Nascar needs to stay out of the way and let the drivers and teams work it out!

    What we dont need is another Talledaga race that was micro managed from the tower!

    The same aproach to wrecking is like us fans going to work see all the wrecks on our highway system, usually after a terrible wreck happens, the speed limit stays the same, not much will be done to the roads and cars and we still go back on the road again!

  2. Lydia Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Welllllll…..I am totally looking forward (or maybe not) to 500 practice this afternoon. Those drivers who practiced yesterday have a “leg up” on those who didn’t. Hopefully, those not on the track yesterday were watching and talking to the Shootout drivers..and things will be alittle more under control today. I really would hate to see my drivers..or really any more drivers have to go to a backup..especially for the 500. Do I think NASCAR needs to step in..well at this point no..but if we can’t get through practice today without talking out another 10 or so cars..then I say maybe things need to be looked at. Its one thing to change the rules..its another to change them right before the fact and expect the drivers to have it all sorted out (i.e. anyone remember Talladega?). There are going to be alot of different drivers on the track today..and a good deal of them aren’t as “savvy” or experienced as those on the track yesterday. This should be interesting..I will hold my breath. Geez..maybe if I was a driver I would practice my “backup car” today..just in case..and then put my setup on my “best car” for the 500..Even if you have to go to the back for the Duels or least you’ll have your favorite car waiting for you in one piece after practice!

  3. Justin Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    As long as the 11, 00, 77, etc (the usual suspects) can keep their cars under them, there shouldnt be a problem in Cup practice……..

  4. John Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Considering that NONE of the wrecks yesterday were caused by bump drafting the answer is NO. Hamlin screwed up, and admitted it. He was not bump drafting the 5, just changed his mind where he was going and decided not to touch the brake. Once again proving he is a better talker than driver. Montoya dumped the 2 before he even got up to speed.

    Wait until Saturday night, might see some dump drafting problems then!

  5. Chase Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Umm…Isn’t today’s 500 practice, a practice for single car qualifying? I sure hope they don’t have any problems keeping their car’s in one piece when they are going to be practicing single car run’s.

  6. Richard Allen Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Yes, Chase. Today’s practice will most likely consist of one car runs. It should have no impact on bump drafting rules.