Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gentlemen, start your radios!

   An interesting and relatively new dynamic debuted at the Daytona 500 this year - something NASCAR fans will likely hear a lot more of this weekend in Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

   No, not talking about the two-car draft, specifically. Rather, it's the communication between what are supposed to be adversaries on the track that is now taking place in order make those two-car drafts work best.

   It's not just teammate talking to teammate. We saw Chevrolet driver talking to Ford driver, Hendrick drivers communicating with Gibbs drivers. All in the effort to be at the right place at the right time so that - surprise - only one of them can win the race.

   Somehow, that sounds counterproductive. That new dynamic was talked about Tuesday by Jeff Burton. Here is what he had to say:

   "We had a meeting this week talking about, you know, who you want to try to get on your radio, and it's pretty odd.  I mean, typically it's teams that try to communicate within the team.  But for a Childress car to be talking to a Hendrick car, or a Hendrick car to be talking to a Roush car, and a Roush car to be talking to a Gibbs car, we've never seen that.

   It's pretty interesting how that all is going down and who is going to who and talking and saying, can I put you in my radio.  And with the etiquette:  When do you go to a competitor's radio frequency?  All of that's a moving target.

   I don't know, I'm a fan of it because I think honestly it's safer doing it with one spotter and two cars.  I think it's actually safer. However, I'm not a fan of it because it's supposed to be us against them, you know.  We are not supposed to be working together.

   It's a little bit weird in the sense that we are competitors or talking to each other; on the other hand, from the safety standpoint I think it's the right way to go.  It's a pretty interesting time right now."