Monday, November 2, 2009

Talladega Rant

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.



  1. Well Ryans flip did bring out a flaw on a car landing in it's roof. The roll cage offers little protection in the event of a roof landing. If it was Mikey Waltrip as tall as he is doing that he might have had a broken or crushed neck. Possibly even death.

    Yep; NASCAR has to listen to the drivers. In this case NASCAR was "stupid is as stupid does."

    I don't failt the time the safety crew took. If there was a neck injury, it might have been a worse outcome.

  2. "Bump drafting did not cause that horiffic wreck......blocking did!"

    Completely disagree. NASCAR caused that wreck when they stripped Regan Smith of the win at 'dega last year. Everyone and their dog knew what was going to happen should 2 cars find themselves in the same position at either Daytona or Talladega after that...except NASCAR it seems, lol

  3. I read through my comment again and I'd like to stress I'm not saying blocking didn't cause it, just that their stupid ruling lead to it. Ultimately, Carl's block did cause it....thought I'd clear that up since I don't want Gene to blast me :)

    Oh and if anyone knows of the finishing order from the race, please let me know so I can update my points. It seems that Elliott Sadler finished either 7th or 9th so I'd like to get it right (and no, that doesn't affect the trifecta result, lol).

  4. SB14....Aw shucks, somebody had to say it.

    Photo....Maybe Mikey's seat is lower....LOL!

    Tez....That is the one good thing BK has done in what happens to blockers.... they get blasted...LOL

    E Sad, 9th....laps led, 12. (Mikey was 7th)

  5. I have to disagree on Brad taking out Kurt coming out of turn 4, They where in the spot that they could bumpdraft and Brad was being pushed by Brian Vickers, Not that I am saying Brad dosn't drive rought, but when Kurt lost it they where out of the turn,

    Kurts car was so banged up he couldn't handle being pushed as was David Ruetimann who on many times had to pull out from being bump drafted.

    Ryan's crashed was due to the new rule and rookie drivers up front. I have watch it a few times and Max Papis backs off from the lead 4 or 5 car pack sooner/before the turn with someone behind him?. Tony see this and checks up. Robby Gordon bump drafting with Ambrose get a whale of a run up to Ryan and wham bam thank you mam.

    The longer the row of cars the more slaming you have in the middle to back cause they are still bump drafting when the front cars have to back off. NASCAR didn't take this in to account.

    You say rant of yours, I say on the money Bro.


  6. What business is it of NASCAR's if two or three cars want to hook up? There's no throttle response, the drivers right foot is smashed down the whole circuit. There's nothing left for the driver to do, but try to be in the correct freight train of drafting cars, when he wants to move forward. Near the end of the race, all a driver can do to maintain a lead is block, a very unsafe thing to do under the current IROC set up of the cars. NASCAR has a problem, and it's not going to be an easy fix. You can't fix it with a drivers meeting before the race. Banking of the track is a factor, and taking away horse power only adds to the problem. Ryan was born 20 years too late. I feel for him, and understand his frustration.

  7. F2...thanks. I just watched the replay here....

    and I don't see Max backing off. The draft line was nose to tail. Somehow Tony turned into the wall on the back stretch. Then, drivers started lifting and dodging.

    Perhaps a Frame by Frame would help?

  8. CR...Newman told it like it is. I'm sure NASCAR will send him to Siberia for reprograming.

    There are several cheap ways to slow the cars, and still allow throttle response.

  9. Name some Gene. I'm curious. Maybe if they took away the restrictor plate, and added an anchor to be dragged by each car? LOL

  10. One way and drivers have stated make the back bumper harder and front bumers softer and they won't have the big banging into a bump draft, They would have to eases up to the car. This was when if you had front end damage you droped to the back like a brick,

    But after watching Kasey, 00 David and Kurt it didn't seem to matter unless they got pushed.

    Gene, You see it on the over head from the blimp of the line and Max is the first car to back off, I can't tell who is behind him,, Give me a day to hook you guys up. FXF.


  11. CR....First, take the plates off then any of these will slow the cars down, allow throttle response, and probably help keep them grounded without having the teams spend millions on 'plate' engines just to use 4 times a year.

    Smaller engines.....smaller, or 2bbl carbs....skinier tires..... no wing, small rear spoiler .....1" or 2" wickerbill across the top of the car ....mandate larger openings on the front (grille) areas of the cars--no tape....

  12. Yep. Another year at Talladega means another 2 races of plate induced racing carnage.

    But I'm not complaining that they race there. Give the fans a great show.

    Gene - How about if NASCAR$ allows all teams to drop their worst 3 finishes pre-chase and worst finish during the 10 race playoff, even for the non-qualifiers? Think that would have Jayski srambling for updated stats? Hee, Hee....