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.
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