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Jeff Gordon says it's time for NASCAR to crack down on aggressive driving at Talladega...but he's curious as to how that might really work out

Jeff Gordon (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



   By Mike Mulhern

   Jeff Gordon -- in considering the wild action at Talladega last weekend, from the early-race wreck that knocked him out of the game and out of the Sprint Cup points lead, to the last-lap crash involving Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski – says racing at the sport's biggest track has become rougher and tougher the past few years, with more blocking and more bump-drafting.
   And he says that's not good.
   "This thing has been building for four to five races, if not longer," Gordon said.
   "We have been doing it in practice for the last couple of years, and we have seen it in the races.
    "But no one has been ever materialized it in to the final laps of the race and made it work.
    "I think the bad thing is that it is going to be the same scenario every single time those two cars -- whoever they are -- get to the tri-oval: one guy is going to pull out to pass, and the lead car is going to decide how much to block.
    "When you see the checkered flag and you are leading in the tri-oval, your natural instincts pretty much take over: you are going to block all the way, until the car is spinning. And that is exactly what Carl did.
    "That is a scenario that could happen quite often. And I don't think that is a good thing. I don't think that is the way we want to see the races finish at Talladega -- with a car flying through the air, going in to the fence. 
    "That is the potential of what can continue to happen."
    So Gordon suggests NASCAR tweak the rear spoiler to make the hole that the car cuts in the air smaller.
    "I felt like when we were finalizing this car at Talladega at the last test I went to several years ago, that the wicker (part of the rear spoiler) was a little bit too big for the size of the restrictor plate," Gordon said.
   "I would like to see them consider not just (different) restrictor plates but possibly something with that wicker too -- Just not to push so much air over the top of these cars.
   "Basically that wicker is deflecting so much air it has put us in to that pocket, and closing rates are extreme, and the bump-drafting has just gotten out of hand.
    "So I think there are some things they could do to slow down that rate.
    "The cars, they are easy to pass now, so you could probably take a little bit out of the (rear) wings and (still) put on a heck of a race.
    "Once we learn something, it seems like you never take it away. So NASCAR might not ever be able to stop what we are seeing now.  Once the drivers learn something, we usually get better at it."
     NASCAR officials say they may start penalizing drivers for rough driving.
     "I'm curious to see that approach," Gordon says.
    "You've got to look at it as really primarily a Talladega issue.
     "At Daytona we see a little bit of bump-drafting, but handling was such an issue at Daytona you really can't do the same things. You don't get the runs, you don't get the side-by-side racing as much in Daytona as you do in Talladega.
     "They did such an amazing job paving Talladega, it's so smooth and has so much grip that you literally can put your car all the way around the track.
    "My question is, we go to the drivers meeting and they show us the zones we're not supposed to be bump-drafting in, and on lap one we were doing it already. I did it for six laps."
   And then came the first big crash.
    "The thing is that I felt like they had the opportunity on Saturday during the Nationwide race -- there were some guys that caused wrecks that were bump-drafting on the exit of the corners and caused an incidents," Gordon said. "And I think they could have set the precedent on Saturday and say 'We're making a stand about this kind of stuff.'
    "That might have been something that would have opened our eyes up a little bit more. 'Hey, they're not joking.'
    "But when nobody really gets penalized for it, you push the limits further and further and further.
     "And you saw what happened in the closing laps of that race.
    "Honestly I'd like to get them to clarify it – because that crash was not caused by Brad. He did exactly what he should have done.
    "The yellow line was probably what caused that.
     "Brad had a run underneath Carl, and are we saying 'Okay, it's blocking by Carl.'
    "Are you going to say that car is going to be penalized? I'm not really sure."


Jeff Gordon needs to figure

Jeff Gordon needs to figure out that drivers have to stop relying on NASCAR. NASCAR can't and shouldn't be cracking down because it's none of their business. Gordon needs to just accept that racing is about what we saw at Talladega; if he's scared of it then he needs to man up and take it.

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