Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Mark Martin and Denny Hamlin tangle in opening round of Daytona Shootout practice, then Montoya tags Kurt Busch

   It all looks pretty calm at this moment, but then all hell broke lose (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   SpeedWeeks was only an hour old Thursday when drivers began making trips to the infield hospital.
   A big crash marred the opening round of Daytona Shootout practice, triggered by a bump between Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin. Then in the second round, an hour later, Juan Pablo Montoya tagged Kurt Busch, who wound up in the wall.
   Martin, at the front of the draft, appeared to move up slightly on the frontstretch, where Hamlin already had the spot, and the two touched.
   Martin went up to Hamlin afterwards to ask what happened. Hamlin began explaining the incident. As Martin was walking away, Hamlin patted Martin on the shoulder.
   Kasey Kahne was also involved, along with several others, including Jamie McMurray.
   At one point it appeared that Joey Logano, Hamlin's teammate, might have been bump-drafting Hamlin just a moment before the crash.
   "We got lucky; a lot of cars were wrecking around us," Logano said. "Denny was trying to get to the outside of the Mark, and Mark was trying to close the door a little bit."
   "I had a huge run going, and Mark was going to give me the high lane, but I wasn't quite clear, so I backed off," Hamlin said. "Both of us were anticipating something...it was only practice so no reason to put the squeeze on him, so I was going to give him the lane....and then at the last moment he decided not to go there but tuck in behind me....and we got together," Martin said.
  Perhaps four of the drivers involved will go to backup cars. Since the starting grid will be set by a drawing Thursday night, teams can switch to backups without penalty, as long as they get in some pre-race practice in the backup car.
    McMurray, Greg Biffle and Hamlin were expected to go to backups.
    "Yeah, it's aggressive bump-drafting," Biffle said. "That's what we were looking for, aggressive bump-drafting.
    "Trust me, we're not finished. What are we – 20 or 30 minutes into practice? It's going to be awesome."
  Again, Biffle was prescient, because only two minutes into the second Shootout practice session Thursday evening Montoya tagged Busch. Montoya said he was bump-drafting with Busch when Busch suddenly had to back off after an unexpected move by John Andretti.
    Meanwhile Kevin Harvick, one of the 24 in Saturday night's shootout, missed Thursday's practice and media session, while being treated for the flu. Teammate Clint Bowyer filled in for him; then third teammate Jeff Burton took over the car for a while.
    Carl Edwards drew the pole for Saturday’s Shootout. Defending Shootout winner Kevin Harvick, home in North Carolina with the flu, drew the outside pole. The rest of the top-five: Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle.


    [Note: You can use Twitter as an easy headline service for mikemulhern.net stories, with our instant Tweets to your mobile as soon as our newest NASCAR story is filed. And mikemulhern.net is mobile-friendly for viewing. You can also use the orange RSS feed button as a quickie headline service on your laptop or home computer for mikemulhern.net stories, by creating a Live Bookmark RSS feed on your web browser's toolbar. Or you can create a Google Alert for mikemulhernnet.]


Drivers refuse to get it -

Drivers refuse to get it - "it's aggressive bump-drafting." Bull - it's Denny Hamlin taking out Mark Martin and then Worthless Juan taking out Kurt Busch. Stupid is as stupid does.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com