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DATE News (chronologically)
04/22/09
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Talladega Drafting Not The Same with New Car  Since the debut of the new chassis and body in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, drafting, and thus the race itself, has been different.

Bobby Labonte, Driver No. 96 Ask.com Ford and President of Breaking Limits:

“These cars are great for Talladega.  Daytona, it’s more of a hand full because that’s a handling type of track.  These cars can bump draft differently, and better in some ways, than the older cars.  The track at Talladega is so smooth and that makes for great racing with the new car.  Unless the pavement wears out or has huge cracks the handling will never be a factor here with this car at this track. 

“It’s actually easier to lose the draft now than ever before.  At the same time, it’s more fun to be up in the draft too.  I think these cars work really well at Talladega to be honest.”

John Andretti, Driver of the No. 34 Window World/Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet:

“It is different for sure.  You can beat and bang with these cars and not lose control like you did before. The old car, it was just a little touch and it’s a big mess. These cars, bump drafting happens in the corners and it’s not a big deal.  You can slide sideways and still be in control and save the car.

“For drivers, yea, that makes the racing better.  We know we have the control and that’s a big deal. NASCAR did a great job in helping us.  The fans, the ones who want to see good racing, they should like it too.  We put on a good show.  There may not be as many wrecks, but that’s not a bad thing.”

Eddie D'Hondt, Owner No.19 ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota Note:
Eddie D’Hondt is the owner of the #19 ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota competing this weekend at Talladega in the ARCA Series. These cars are very similar to the older NASCAR Sprint Cup car.
       
“The rear wing on the new car makes a big difference at superspeedways, not just because of the car’s handling, but because it affects the driver’s view. With the new spoiler, the driver can’t see out the back. A driver could always look in his rearview mirror and see who was behind him in the old car, now he’s completely reliant on his spotter. It’s also a lot harder to lose the draft with the new car.  You can get farther behind, and more strung out, with the new car and still catch back up the draft.

“ARCA cars don’t have front and rear bumpers that match up like the new car does.  That makes bump drafting a lot more risky in the ARCA Series.  Since they don’t fit together, you’re more likely to see someone spin out when they make hard contact.  It’s what the race used to look like in the Sprint Cup Series.  We have to be more careful than those guys.” 

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