All Hell Set to Break Loose With NASCAR Making Another Rule Change

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IJanuary 10, 2010

With a format change coming to the Budweiser Shootout next month, NASCAR isn't done brainstorming as the offseason has less than a month left before it's in the review mirror and engines are firing. 

With the season officially started in Daytona by this time next month, NASCAR officials said Wednesday that they are not only looking into removing the wing on the COT for a spoiler, but they might be eliminating the yellow line and bump zone rules.

After much feedback from drivers and fans about the COT and its wing, especially after Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman both went airborne at Talladega last year, NASCAR said they are working on an alternative. 

An alternative such as a spoiler like what was used on the Twisted Sister car. 

However, it was stated that this move would be to improve the racing, and that it isn't about the race cars leaving the ground. If NASCAR were to make a change expect the announcement in the coming weeks, and in time for the Daytona 500. 

NASCAR's Ramsey Poston went on NASCAR radio's Sirius Speedway to explain, "We took a car to the wind tunnel after last year's fall race at Talladega and recreated Ryan Newman's crash to as high a degree as possible."

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"Those tests showed beyond any doubt that the rear wing had no effect on the way that race car took off. With that said, we talked to 14 different drivers at the NASCAR Technical Center yesterday [Thursday], and all 14 of them were in favor of going back to rear spoilers as a way of increasing downforce and improving competition."

Many have welcomed the idea with open arms, if it's going to help the competition and make the racing better for all involved, make it happen and as soon as possible. 

But then NASCAR announced they might be looking into doing away with the yellow line rule, the one that states no driver can advance their position by going below it. They would also do away with the bump zone rule. That being, no bump-drafting in the corners at Daytona and Talladega.

Remember Denny Hamlin was very outspoken about NASCAR not allowing drivers to bump-drafting and hook two cars together at Talladega last November. 

To eliminate the bump zones and allow drivers to go at it is something that some are on board with. These are professionals, they know how to handle the draft, and want to drive their race cars they way they want. 

The COT's are strong enough to smash a front bumper into a rear and drivers love to do that. Two cars hooked together have shown that it's possible to drive away from the field or it makes it easier to get to the front.

Nothing too major or chaotic happened with the rule and taking it away doesn't seem it would cause any either. If they're gonna wreck, they're gonna wreck. 

However, with the yellow line rule it ensured that drivers wouldn't go below the line and attempt to come back up on the banking causing a big wreck.

It's simple: you can't go from driving straight on a flat surface, to a 31 or 33 degree banking at 190 miles an hour without hitting something or someone.

Professionals or not, but Ramsey stated they NASCAR thinks differently and, "We're going to let the drivers drive." 

The racing was nice and contained and even though it will still get out of hand at times, it is auto racing after all, it didn't allow for mayhem.

Can you imagine Kyle Busch, who loves to drive from lane to lane, going from the very top of the track all the way to the grass?

Somewhere in doing that one line is going to get stacked up and the big wreck will happen.

Of course, with the yellow line it also took away a win from Regan Smith at Talladega in October 2008. He drove down there to pass Tony Stewart coming to the checkered flag and was penalized by NASCAR.

He's probably wondering why this rule wasn't in place back then.

It was also the reason for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brian Vickers making contact and causing the big one in the 2009 Daytona 500. So, one way or another, with the yellow line or without it, crashes are going to occur.

Doing away with the rule completely though, is just allowing the drivers to do it anywhere, everywhere, and all race long. Maybe we can call Daytona and Talladega demolition derbies from now on. 

Michael Waltrip and Clint Bowyer were not fond of the idea upon hearing it, Waltrip saying that it would be a mistake and Bowyer telling the media, "it's done it's job [the yellow line] and I hope they keep it."

On the other side of it, Edwards said he would be fine with the new rule, but would like to seem NASCAR enforce no going below it on the last lap. Sorry Regan Smith, you're not getting that race back no matter what happens.

Tony Stewart even expressed positive thoughts about it, saying it would give drivers more flexibility. 

While some say that NASCAR has too many rules and needs to let the drivers loosen up, the yellow line rule was one that attempted to keep things as controlled as they could be.

This rule change, while NASCAR should be applauded for keeping busy and looking into many things during the offseason, might be one that backfires when the teams roll into Daytona.

The restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega are already thought of for crazy and even scary racing.

No need to make them remembered for cars swerving all over the track, tires touching the grass, trying to come back up on the backing after using the apron, bumping anywhere and every, as well as anything else they'll attempt to do. 

If fans think plate racing is crazy now, wait until there are no rules. 

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