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Drivers Welcome Return To Pack Racing 
Posted on February 19, 2012 at 02:47 PM.
After last night’s wild and crazy Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR drivers are applauding the return of “pack racing” to NASCAR's Superspeedway's.

A long time critic of the two-car, draft at Daytona and Talladega in recent years, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., expressed happiness with the new NASCAR rule package that seems to have abolished two-by-two racing.

"I have more of my destiny in my hands in this type of racing,” said Earnhardt last night, despite being swept-up in a late crash that left his Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet crumpled and steaming on the track apron. “I was feeling really good and really happy with the way things were going. I felt like I was doing a good job. I felt like I had control of my race and had potential to win if I made all the right moves.

Earnhardt said he is optimistic about his chances in next Sunday’s Daytona 500, as well, adding, “I know what to expect. I feel like I have got a better chance with this style than I did last year, for damn sure.”
While Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout featured a trio of multi-car crashes, former series champion Matt Kenseth downplayed fears of a crash-filled Daytona 500. With no points on the line last night, Kenseth said he and his fellow drivers felt free to race aggressively and take chances. “I think everyone will be a little more calm (in the Daytona 500),” assured Kenseth. “At least until the end.”

Four-time Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon agreed, saying, "It was wild and I can't say what we saw out there was completely unexpected. There was a lot of aggression and a lot of wild driving out there, which is to be expected on a night like this when we have no points to deal with."

Tony Stewart applauded NASCAR for its off-season work to abolish the two-car draft. "I actually had fun racing at Daytona again, which I haven't had for a while,” he said “I'm really, really appreciative (of) the work that NASCAR has done in the off-season, to try to make it better for us out there. I don't know what the consensus is from everybody else, but I had more fun as a driver tonight than what we've had in the past."

“We still need to keep trying to make it even better,” cautioned Earnhardt. “This is not the end, this is just the beginning of trying to put a great package out here. But it is a great improvement, really good. I’m pretty pleased with what I saw."

He also offered some unsolicited advice on how his fellow drivers might avoid a repeat of Saturday’s Bud Shootout carnage. “You don’t have to move around,” he said. “You just hold your damn car where it needs to be and not drive around like an idiot. If you want to drive your car in a straight line and be sensible, it’s possible.”
Comments
# 1 tril @ Feb 19
whats pack racing and the two car darft
 
# 2 Happy29 @ Feb 19
At the two restrictor plate tracks Daytona and Talladega for years the only way cars could get to top speed was to have a car pushing it using "the draft' to divide the amount of air resistance on the cars in half because of a restrictor plate on the engine meant to cut down on the horsepower and slow the cars down. For years the cars ran in a large pack inches apart to race that's where the term pack racing come from, but as the cars evolved and the tracks was resurfaced to drivers found that 2 cars in constant contact around the track could run much faster than a pack of cars. So we got the name2 car tandem. The fans voiced their displeasure in this type of racing and wanted to see cars back in bigger packs which gave more exciting racing and bigger wrecks. I'll post a video of each kind of racing so you can see the difference.

This is the final laps of the 2000 Winston 500 Dale Earnhardt used the air perfectly to work his way through the pack to go from 18th to 1st in 4 laps to win this race. This is the pack racing that the fans love and want to see.



This is the finish to the race at Talladega last spring you'll see it's different groups of 2 cars drafting to make up positions. I enjoyed this type of racing as well because it always produced exciting finishes like this, but NASCAR is one of the best sports at listening to it's fans and making them happy.



One final video is of the finish of last nights race which produced a great finish.

 
# 3 Happy29 @ Feb 19
 
# 4 tril @ Feb 20
thanks for the detailed response.
 
# 5 Happy29 @ Feb 20
No problem I hope it helped a little at least.
 
# 6 C the Lyte @ Feb 22
It's kind of a catch 22. It is more exciting and very tense. But, big crashes make up for what the Shootout was... 13 cars finishing.
 
# 7 Happy29 @ Feb 22
Yeah but you have to remember the Bud Shootout was a dash for cash, all that was on the drivers mind was the money. Come Sunday they will not be as advantageous at least at the start because they know how valuable points are. I'm not saying the big wreck wont happen because it always does, but they wont be as wild as they was Saturday night.
 
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