NASCAR bans bump-drafting in Talladega turns

  • By Jenna Fryer Associated Press
  • Sunday, November 1, 2009 11:42am
  • SportsSports

TALLADEGA, Ala. — NASCAR president Mike Helton banned bump-drafting through the turns at Talladega Superspeedway in a stern warning to drivers before Sunday’s race.

He was immediately peppered with questions, beginning with Juan Pablo Montoya, who asked if Helton guaranteed drivers will be punished if they use the practice to win the race.

“The guy you might penalize might be in Victory Lane,” Montoya yelled from the back of the room.

“If the race winner or the guy that takes the checkered (flag) has gotten that position by drafting up through the turns … then that’s going to be an issue with us,” Helton replied.

The room erupted in discussion as Helton continued to speak over the drivers.

“We will not allow doubling up, pushing, locked-up, bump-drafting or whatever you call it in the turns,” Helton said. “All the way through turns 1 and 2, all the way through turns 3 and 4, you will not be allowed to push someone, bump-draft them or shove them through the turns.”

He insisted it will be forbidden the entire race, even on the final lap as drivers jockey for the victory. NASCAR is taking the measure as a safety precaution at Talladega, the fastest track on the circuit.

Aggressive driving and bump-drafting — the act of pushing another car around the track — has steadily grown to dangerous proportions. The April race here ended when Brad Keselowski bump-drafted Carl Edwards through the final lap, then tried to pass him with the checkered flag in sight.

Contact between the two cars sent Edwards’ car sailing into the frontstretch safety fence, which held, but seven fans were injured by flying debris.

Bump-drafting in a less aggressive form will be permitted along the straightaways in Sunday’s race, but Helton warned that NASCAR will be policing for aggressive driving.

“It’s unnatural competition,” Mike Ford, crew chief for Denny Hamlin, said after the meeting. “The drivers want to do everything they can to win a race, and there’s asphalt you already can’t use, now you can’t use your bumper … it’s going to force them to fit in holes that aren’t there and be more aggressive in lane changes.

“And that’s how you get the big wrecks.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Jaxson Lewis (8) runs with the ball during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Another state title well within reach for surging Lake Stevens

The Vikings head into Saturday’s championship clash riding a string of dominant performances.

Graham-Kapowsin’s Daveon Superales keeps the ball on a quarterback run during the 4A semifinal against Lake Stevens on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
4A state championship capsule: Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin

A by-the-numbers look at Saturday’s state title game, plus game picks from our experts and readers.

Prep roundup for Thursday, Nov. 30

Prep results for Thursday, Nov. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brandin Cooks (3) catches a pass for a first down as Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (33) defends in the first half of Thursday’s game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Grading the Seahawks in their 41-35 loss to the Cowboys

Seattle gives a game effort on the road against a strong Dallas team, but falters at the end.

Kamiak’s Bella Hasan finishes at the rim with a driving layup against Stanwood on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Stanwood High School in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: Hasan, Anderson power Kamiak girls past Stanwood

The duo combine for 50 points in a 71-49 victory of the Knights.

Granite Falls senior James Porter braces for a hit after making a catch against Kings on Friday, Oct. 19, 2023, at Granite Falls High School in Granite Falls, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Locals named to All-Emerald Sound Conference teams

Student-athletes honored from Granite Falls, King’s and Sultan.

Washington safety Makell Esteen (24) celebrates making an interception against Washington State with cornerback Jabbar Muhammad (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
UW, Oregon meet with Pac-12 title, potential CFP spot on the line

The final season of the Pac-12 is set to close with a massive rivalry clash.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 29

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Abraham Lucas (72) takes his stance during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Seahawks O-line could stabilize with possible return of Lucas

The Archbishop Murphy product hasn’t played since Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Montana State guard RaeQuan Battle celebrates after scoring against Kansas State during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Community roundup: MP grad Battle ‘devastated’ by NCAA ruling

Plus, Jadyn Edwards joins New Mexico’s Hall of Honor, and Daniel Arias is back with the NFL’s Cardinals

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Nov. 28

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Nov. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson’s Trey Hawkins drives to the hoop during the game against Arlington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Jackson boys top Arlington in season opener

Drew Pepin, Ryan Mcferran and Trey Hawkins key the win for the Timberwolves.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.