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DATE News (chronologically)
01/13/13
nassprint
Ludicrous NASCAR Bump-Drafting over  There were few complaints and even less direct involvement from NASCAR officials.
By all accounts this week’s Sprint Cup Series test at Daytona International was a resounding success – well almost.

There was the 12-car wreck on Friday afternoon when teams elected to try drafting in packs, but even that produced one positive – teams were able to gauge how the parts and pieces on the new 2013 model cars faired in an accident.

“All in all, I think the test progressed quite nicely,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “Speeds look to be where they need to be.

“Even though there was an incident, there was an opportunity for manufacturers to look at the components they built and we got a good look at the new roof-flap system.”

The accident also offered a distinct warning to competitors that the “bump-drafting,” or pushing of other cars, could be a costly venture this season.

Distinctly different manufacturer designs prevent the cars from neatly matching up bumpers like in recent years. Aerodynamic changes to the car also seem to favor drafting techniques of the past.

“It’s almost to where we’re back to where we used to be with the draft even before the (Car of Tomorrow) came along (in 2007),” said former Cup crew chief and Speed TV analyst Larry McReynolds.

“When we were here prior to 2007, you didn’t see anybody pushing anybody around the track. You drafted, but you didn’t push.”

McReynolds believes the near-elimination of “bump-drafting” will vastly change the race NASCAR fans will see next month.

“I think it will look completely different,” he said, “and for the better.”

Single-car run speeds hovered around 194 mph while the top average lap speed in Friday’s two drafting sessions was just over 199 mph.

“We were ready to be hands-on but we felt we did our homework on this, working with the manufacturers and the teams and came down here pretty straightforward,” Pemberton said.

“Single-car speeds are a little bit quicker than last year, and that was a goal. Pack speeds are the same or down a little bit, and that was another one our goals.

“Right now, we see all positives.”  ThatsRacin

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