A 3-day test session at Daytona International Motot Speedway designed to hone redesigned cars didn’t go as planned. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. caused a 12-car wreck that basically ended the session and sent at least 10 teams back home.
According to Yahoo! Sports:
“Stock-car racing’s most popular driver was trying to bump draft with Marcos Ambrose on the back straightaway when he lifted Ambrose ”like a forklift” and turned him into the wall. Ambrose’s Ford bounced back across the track and triggered a pileup that collected a host of others.
Apparently during test sessions, most teams don’t bring back-up cars so when they wreck it’s a wrap.
In spite of these events, no one was angry. Apparently it’s a part of what happens to test new cars.
”It is unfortunate, but sometimes you have to wreck them to learn,” said defending Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski. ”Now the rules package is back to where we were in the early 2000’s when the fans enjoyed the racing better. We as drivers have to rewind to how we used to drive these cars. This is how you do it. You make mistakes and learn and that is part of it. I might be the guy who makes the mistake next time, so I can’t be mad about it.”
Just FYI, drafting is the practice of two or more cars, while racing, to run nose-to-tail, almost touching. The lead car, by displacing the air in front of it, creates a vacuum between its rear end and the nose of the following car, actually pulling the second car along with it. It allows the car to gain speed and momentum.
The way the cars matchup nose-to-tail is what Earnhardt, Jr. was testing and obviously the was a mismatch.
In spite of all the wrecks, one famed driver was noticably absent. Jimmy Johnson. He and his crew chief decieded to stay. Johnson doesn’t believe drivers get anything out of these test sessions.
”It doesn’t make any sense to go out there and draft,” Johnson said before the crash. ”You don’t learn anything. You’re just taking a chance of ruining your best race car.”
The proof will show up in this year’s racing seaon which kicks off with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 24th at 1PM on FOX.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,