Locking bumpers sent Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott to the tail at Daytona
With just 25 laps to go in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedwau Chase Elliott and Elliott Sadler were sent to the rear. They were handed a green flag pass through penalty for locking bumpers at the front of the field.
“Tell Chase I’m sorry. It used to be that you couldn’t lock bumpers to advance your position. I guess that rule changed today,” Elliott Sadler said over the radio to his crew 10 laps later.
In the end, Elliott Sadler finished 2nd in the race. He lost by a margin of .000, the closest finish in NASCAR National Series history.
The drafting rule allows for 1 second of locked bumper. Bump drafting is ok. Drivers just aren’t allowed to lock bumpers for more than 1 second.
“It’s a rule that i know is not very popular,” NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell stated on the Morning Drive via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. “But, it’s in the rulebook. It’s reiterated at the drivers’ meeting. And it’s there for safety reasons.”
“It’s there because we had a lot of bumping going on in the Xfinity Series. We have some younger drivers that are part of the series as well.”
“So, we were candidly asked to do something. We put that together. We’ll certainly revisit that as we go forward. But, if you’ve got a rule, you got to make the call.”
“We made the call in this instance. It’s something we felt, we had to do. Glad to see that Elliott was able to recover from that.”
“I think that’s one that we’ll continue to look at as we head into Talladega.”
A lot of fans were critical of that call. But, that wasn’t the only call to be discussed out of Daytona. The other one was the double yellow line infractions which we saw instances of in multiple races at Daytona.
“But, we’re talking about the racing that’s on the race track. Which is the way it should be. Our goal is always to be talking about the racing,” Steve O’Donnell said.
“Yes, fans may have issues or media may have issues with our calls. That’s ok, that’s part of any sport. Whether you agree’d with a call or not, that’s sports.”
In 2009, NASCAR attempted a “no bump drafting in the corners” rule for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In addition, they added that no two cars could hook-up and lock bumpers. The series officials wanted to see “sunshine between the cars.” That rule didn’t work.
During that weekend at Talladega Denny Hamlin said, “he signed up to drive race cars, not to be told by NASCAR how to.”
NASCAR has since lifted that rule. Bump drafting is allowed in full effect on the MENCS level. It’s allowed on the NASCAR Xfinity Series as well with the time limit restriction of 1 second lock.
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