DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It was clear Ryan Sieg pushed Kasey Kahne to victory in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. But was it legal?
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It was clear Ryan Sieg pushed Kasey Kahne to victory in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night.
But was it legal?
NASCAR rules say tandem drafting is not allowed in the Nationwide Series.
When NASCAR announced the new rule in January, it said cars could bump but could not lock bumpers. Early in the race, NASCAR penalized Josh Wise and Landon Cassill for tandem drafting, giving both drivers pass-through penalties. They were the only ones penalized for that in the Subway Firecracker 250.
"You just do what you've got to do," said Sieg, who swept back and forth across Kahne's bumper to help cool his engine. "I did back off a little bit, but I just stayed right there. There was a couple of times it was iffy, but I bump-drafted most of the time."
NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said Sieg's actions on the final lap did not warrant a penalty.
"When you look at any of the situations and the cars make contact and bump and in that last lap there, a car will close on another car and the accordion will close up and make tight quarters all the way down through the whole row," Pemberton said. "Cars are moving side to side, which tells you they are not directly connected."
NASCAR officials have in-car and bumper cameras to check for violations.
"The perspective that you get on a two-and-a-half (mile) racetrack, you rely heavily on cameras," Pemberton said. "Cameras don't have the same angle all the time. You can look at things and you think you see something that's not there and you have to search quite hard to really find it. So if it's something you have to work that hard at, maybe it's not worthy of a call."
The tandem rule is only in place for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. The rule does not apply to the Sprint Cup Series, in which drivers can push as much as their cars can handle. The new aerodynamics package in Cup actually causes connected cars to slow down.