Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finally, somebody gets to the point of this two-car drafting mess

   If drivers or even race fans don't like this reliance on two-car drafting that has dominated Speedweeks on the Sprint Cup Series this year, they need look no further to the drivers and team themselves for a large part of the problem.

   Everyone knew the track was repaved. Everyone knew that would change conditions. Everyone knew - or we thought - how important preseason testing was going to be.

   Yet, when it came down to doing the work on the track in January, most drivers and teams took a pass. They spent or no time whatsoever racing with most of their competitors on the track, let alone in two-car tandems.

   So, whose fault is that? Not NASCAR's.

   Tony Stewart illustrated this perfectly on Friday.

   Told of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s suggestion that everyone needs to go to Talladega and Daytona and do a big two-day test and figure out how to change he two-car draft, Stewart replied:

   "If I remember right, when we came down for the open test (Earnhardt) did single car runs the whole time he was here so if he felt that way, why didn’t he do that in the test while we were all here together? 

   “We tried getting in big packs for three days down here and we couldn’t get people to quit doing single car runs and worrying about trying to make the race cars go fast. In the big pack you want master of your own destiny," he said.

   "I don’t know where he got that from because you have always been relying on the guy behind you so if you want to be the master of your own destiny, take the restrictor plates off. Figure out how to let us drive race cars again.”

   Stewart may not always address things in the best possible way. But on this issue he is dead-on. Ask the drivers who are complaining to look in the mirror for some of the blame if they don't like the conditions in Sunday's Daytona 500.

2 comments:

  1. All I have to say about it, is I am sorry for NASCAR as the racing is just about unwatchable from a true racing perspective. Might as well attach chains to them and let them stay attached all the time.

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  2. Stewart as usual is wrong. No one could have known in that preseason test he mentions that the lock-bumper superdraft would create an aeropush problem and lead to F1-style team racing with drivers coordinating "swaps" instead of actually fighting for position. Stewart is engaging in the worst kind of Monday Morning crew chiefing possible.

    And I seem to remember he and others not trying the superdrafts in that test and in Speedweeks practices.

    And Stewart by now should know that taking the plates off only makes the racing worse, not better. They're not able to race for position in non-plate races; it's the plate races where they can actually drive racecars and actually RACE other people.

    NASCAR does indeed have a problem - team racing has no competitive integrity and aeropush is always bad racing. If this carries over to Talladega then NASCAR will have to address it; if Talladega is like it was last year - or like the Trucks at Daytona where they worked to create superdrafts (Kyle Busch most notably) yet no aeropush developed - then what happened at Daytona was more a bizarre circumstance of conditions on a newly-repaved track.

    And if/when Talladega reverts to "normal" where there's no aeropush or team racing but instead good old fashioned combat to win, what will he say then?

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