NASCAR acts on bump drafting

NASCAR officials have promised to introduce penalties for deliberate bump-drafting in corners, in response to Tony Stewart's claim that someone could be killed at Daytona this week

NASCAR acts on bump drafting

Reigning Nextel Cup champion Stewart said he believes that someone will be killed this weekend in either the Gatorade Duels or Daytona 500 if the level of bump drafting - where a driver literally pushes another competitor forward to advance his position - is not significantly reduced.

Stewart advocated a soft bumper on the cars, so a driver is penalised aerodynamically should he touch another car, however NASCAR organisers have come up with an alternative method, by introducing 'no bump drafting zones' in parts of the track.

More NASCAR officials will be placed in these zones to watch for bump drafting for the remainder of week. These 'no-zones' are likely to be in the corners of the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway.

Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton and Nextel Cup director John Darby outlined their plan at a special media Luncheon on Tuesday.

"What we are going to do for the rest of the week as the races unfold is to add no-zones where we might be forced to make a call where a bump draft is unnecessary," Darby said.

"We are going to talk to some of our competitors about the problem, and we may be put in some positions about competitors that we really don't want to be put in.

"Bump drafting is not new. It is something we have watched for many, many years and we have seen some exciting races in lower formula.

"A bump draft at the right time and the right place is not the worst thing in the world but as it evolves, but it has not evolved to such a point where we change the term bump drafting to slam drafting."

Penalties might range from a simple drive-through penalty to an exclusion, depending on the severity of the bump draft, and whether it has been carried out by a repeat offender.

"As we go forward and try and control bump drafting there is going to be some very subjective calls," Darby continued.

"That's the reason we would like to get this underway as quickly as possible. If we establish it in the twins then hopefully we don't have to make the call. And if we do have to make a call in Duels, it won't be as severe as having to make the call in the Daytona 500.

"Every bump draft is not going to create a penalty, every time a car touches another car is not going to create a penalty, but if there is an unnecessary hit, specifically in one of those zones, then we will have the power to act."

Pemberton said, however, that it is up to the drivers - rather than NASCAR, as Stewart suggested - to stop the procedure.

"Everybody has got to remember that drivers have the control," Pemberton said. "They have the pedals to push and steering wheels to turn.

"To leave it in our hands when we are not out there is not right. The yellow line rule is something that we have done and enforced.

"Tony gets heat up. Tony five minutes after a race, and Tony two hours after the race are two different things."

shares
comments
Knaus ejected from Daytona

Previous article

Knaus ejected from Daytona

Next article

Officials: Labonte was not cheating

Officials: Labonte was not cheating
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Tim Redmayne
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020