The good news is that we aren't talking about Jimmie Johnson dominating another Chase race. No, we're talking about NASCAR trying to have an IROC or radio controlled race at it's biggest track.
In a feeble attempt to improve safety, NASCAR told the drivers to not touch each other through the turns at Talladega. Of course they waited until an hour before race time to reitterate this message. So, all the hours of testing, shop prep, set up, and practice were all for nought. Gee, that sounds safer already.
Six months ago Carl Edwards' car got turned around, became airborne, and almost went through the catch fence at Talladega. Some fans were injured by flying debris in the front stretch grandstand. Bump drafting did not cause that horiffic wreck......blocking did!
NASCAR has had six months to study that wreck, and others, and try to reduce them. Did they outlaw blocking? No! Instead, for some reason, they tell the drivers that touching another car in the turns will not be permitted. Zero tolerance! Uh, except for Brad Keselowski bumping Kurt Busch exiting turn four and causing the big one. That one was okay, I guess, because they were in overtime.
After finally being cut out of his car---after the #39 Chevy imitated a flapjack----Ryan Newman blasted NASCAR's out of touch edicts. Rightly claiming that there are several ways to keep the cars on the ground, but NASCAR doesn't care enough to ask the right people. Newman also stated that NASCAR doesn't respect today's drivers enough to let them race each other.
Even Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke out, telling the TV reporters that blocking is the cause of all the 'big ones', not bump drafting. Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon also let the public know that they were not happy with this style of racing at Talladega either. Bobby Labonte called the finish a joke.
Perhaps most telling about their supposed 'safety' concerns about bump drafting was Elliott Sadler's report on what NASCAR said in the driver's meeting. Sadler says that the drivers were told in that meeting that NASCAR did not want to see two cars lock up, and pull away from the pack. That doesn't sound like a safety issue. More of a, "we like to keep them all bunched up for the big one," issue.
You see, even though ESPN pays NASCAR millions of dollars to telecast it's races, unless there's a 'big one', NASCAR won't even get ten seconds on SportsCenter the night of the race. So, NASCAR and their TV partners conspire to keep the cars close during the races. Whether that be by the mystery debris, their backwoods timing system on pit road, giving all the cars the same horsepower on it's two largest tracks, or changing rules before, during, and after the races.
The 'big ones' will never be stopped at the restrictor plate tracks, but there are dozens of inexpensive ways to keep the cars on the ground. While also allowing quicker throttle response to let the cars get away from each other, and maybe then have three or four smaller drafts instead of the one giant 40 car draft we have now. Evidently NASCAR doesn't want that, though.