Sports

Gordon says prohibiting bump-drafting helped racing at Talladega

FORT WORTH, Texas - Jeff Gordon admitted Friday he was one of several Sprint Cup drivers who went to NASCAR last weekend and asked series officials to prohibit bump-drafting through the corners at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

Fans - and even some drivers who complained to NASCAR about the practice - blamed a perceived lack of competitive racing Sunday on that decision.

"I was one of them," Gordon said of drivers who requested the crackdown. "Bump-drafting through the corners is ridiculous. I don't think that had anything to do with the race you saw last week.

"If anything, I think it's what allowed 30-plus cars to be on the lead lap with 30 (laps) to go, which sometimes only makes the big wreck even bigger."

Gordon said the reason more cars finished was NASCAR's crackdown.

"I thought that was a big positive. If you have a car that you can bump-draft the way that car does, that's the issue. It's not telling us what we can and can't do," Gordon said.

"We need to get out there and work hard to swap positions. Track position is so important in our series and then they create a car that it's not important, that you can kind of get up (front) whenever you want.

"Eventually you're going to have guys that say, 'We got 500 miles to go; we're just going to sit here and ride.' "

Martin, Gordon know the Chase race is for second. Jeff Gordon is suddenly having all kind of success at Texas Motor Speedway, a track where he had never won until earlier this season.

Gordon captured his first pole of the season, waiting until the second-to-last race to extend his streak of 17 consecutive seasons with a pole, with a qualifying lap of 191.117 mph Friday at the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked Texas track.

Mark Martin, another Hendrick driver, is second, only eight points ahead of Gordon's No. 24. Martin qualified seventh and Jimmie Johnson 12th for Sunday's race.

Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch qualified second and third in Dodges, and Tony Stewart was fourth in his No. 14 Chevrolet.

Dale Jr.: Nothing new, but Patrick good for NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. says Danica Patrick would be good for NASCAR, but there's nothing new to report on the IndyCar star joining his team.

Earnhardt said other teams were still in the mix for Patrick's services. He said the talks were still in their early stages. His comments came after ESPN reported that a deal could be in place soon between Patrick and Earnhardt's Nationwide Series team, JR Motorsports. Patrick would run a partial Nationwide schedule while running full-time in the IRL.

"She will be good for NASCAR, whoever gets her," Earnhardt said.

Goodyear pleased with test. Goodyear brought 17 Cup drivers to Daytona Beach, Fla., with in the past week to finalize a tire recommendation for next season's Daytona 500.

The cars ran 25 laps Monday, and a 15- 30-lap runs Tuesday.

"Overall grip and wear was good, and we also improved the appearance of the tire over the course of a run compared with the past," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales.

Talladega tops Chase ratings. ABC's coverage of Sunday's race at Talladega earned a final national rating of 4.2, the highest among the seven races in the Chase. The telecast averaged 6,627,058 viewers.

NASCAR to honor fallen soldiers at Texas race. NASCAR will honor the fallen soldiers at Fort Hood during a race weekend that is just 170 miles from the site of the massacre that left 13 people dead. Texas Motor Speedway officials were planning to paint a logo on the infield grass to honor the victims.

  Comments