Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jeff Gordon's ideas to help speed up restrictor-plate qualifying

   After winning his 70th career Sprint Cup Series pole last weekend at Talladega, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon offered some suggestions on how to make what has become a dull, long process of qualifying cars at Daytona and Talladega into something a little more interesting.

   Here were this ideas:

   "It felt like I could walk faster than I was going out there. The one thing that I mentioned to NASCAR when we were talking about it. It is the proper restrictor plate to be on the car for the race. I don't see, and I know that I am throwing out some things that our engine builders probably will not like, but I just don't see why we're not running a different restrictor plate for qualifying or a different spoiler. Something that NASCAR hands us that is the same for everybody to make it more interesting.

   "To me, that qualifying session was just a snoozer. It is because we are doing two laps by ourselves doing 177 mph. That had nothing to do with me. Anybody could drive that car at that speed. So let's make it a little more interesting. I don't see why we can't get up there into the 200 mile-per-hour range qualifying. I think they have done an excellent job with these cars making them safer; finding out what they do in the wind tunnel to stay on the ground when they turn around sideways say if a tire were to blow at that speed for whatever reason ... you ran over something.

   "I would like to see us qualify faster just to make it more entertaining for the fans as well as for us the drivers. We're not doing anything out there right now. It would be fun to go to Talladega or Daytona and the driver plays a little bit more of a role."

   Sounds like some good advice to me.


  1. Gordon needs to shut the hell up and race. The sport doesn't need qualifying to be remotely interesting. 200 is unsafe at any speed - they've done nothing but prove it in Indycars and NASCAR. So you were bored you only hit 177 and change in qualifying - what is so wrong with that?

    Racing is about lead changes, and 88 of them in the race are what matter, not how "slowly" you won the pole at. The driver's role in a race is supposed to be "pass everyone ahead of you and take the lead; if you lose the lead take it back, regardless of what the lap is or how savagely you have to fight for it." Playing a role in qualifying is not supposed to be relevant to anything.

  2. BTW, Jeff, here's another reason - you're not supposed to use different engines for qualifying and the race. Qualify with your race engine, race setup, no tape on the grille, etc.