When NASCAR announced changes for the upcoming race at Talladega that would result in more swaps in the two car draft system I immediately thought of the safety risks.
I’m not Jeff Gordon though so no one would have taken my concerns with more then a grain of salt. Gordon said the following this weekend at New Hampshire to the Sporting News.
“I know a lot of people don’t like us running nose-to-tail like that, but it’s far more dangerous doing more swaps. It causes far more chances to have crashes when you’re swapping, especially at the end of the race, where you’re in the middle of a pack, and all of a sudden two cars just swap.
With cars moving forward and backwards so quickly eventually there is going to be a wreck. With engineers expecting that drivers will switch after roughly one lap, we could be seeing well over 100 swaps per driver if that’s true. That’s a lot of work which can create fatigue in that cockpit, not to mention other drivers doing the same thing while racing along side you.
“So I’d rather us not have to swap. I think the racing would be better, and it would be safer.”
The new rule was created because fans complained largely about the two car tandem drafts that have dominated races at Talladega and Daytona in the last two years.
No matter what the rules are races like Talladega and Daytona will always come down to the last handful of laps due to the draft factor. I’ve often heard people suggest not watching these races until the last few laps because nothing before them matter, trust me that will never change at these tracks.