As drivers prepare for the Daytona 500 in February, NASCAR seems to have stopped its battle with tandem racing. Although NASCAR created several new rules to stop the two-car drafting that fans hate, drivers were still able to use it during testing. Now, NASCAR has remained silent on the future of tandem driving.
Testing at the Daytona International Speedway in January revealed that drivers were still able to take advantage of two-car drafting. However, there were some indications that during a race this could lead to problems. The two-car draft of Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer ended with Bowyer spinning out of control. No one was hurt, but it has become obvious that some of NASCAR's new rules could pose an issue for drivers who are tandem racing.
NASCAR modified several regulations to make two-car drafting dangerous and less appealing to drivers. The spoilers have been reduced, radiators have been downsized and restrictor plates are bigger. All of these changes have been created to make tandem driving more difficult during a race. Although testing at the Daytona International Speedway showed two-car drafting has not been eliminated, NASCAR has not made any new announcements to add more rules. In addition, tandem racing has not been banned.
Cooling System Concerns
The biggest concern that I have with NASCAR's modifications is the changes to the cooling system. Testing has already shown that drivers are going to attempt two-car drafting, so the dangers of making the radiators and accumulators smaller will become a serious issue at the races. Drivers could easily overheat their cars with the new modifications.
The outcomes of the new rules could create several distinct possibilities at the Daytona 500 in 2012. First, drivers could continue using the two-car drafting at the race and end up with overheated cars. This could create a race filled with more wrecks and cautions than in the past. On the other hand, the two-car drafting could be reduced or completely eliminated at the Daytona 500. Fans would witness the return of racing from the past. The Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 26.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation/Motor Racing
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- Daytona International Speedway