Bump drafting is something that has gotten a lot of attention this week, but what is the proper etiquette for employing this technique? Ford Racing asked some of its drivers for their thoughts on this practice. RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft ...
Bump drafting is something that has gotten a lot of attention this week, but what is the proper etiquette for employing this technique? Ford Racing asked some of its drivers for their thoughts on this practice.
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus
DO YOU SEE BUMP DRAFTING MORE NOW THAN YEARS AGO? "You've been seeing it in IROC forever. I think we won the championship in '91 and it was there back then. It was there before I got there. It was very common there, but those cars are built a lot heavier than our cars - a lot more bulletproof. In our racing now, because you get stuck beside somebody, it's not just a case of saying, 'I'm gonna give this guy a rap and let him know I'm back here.' It's like, 'Hey, come on and hit me. I need to get by this guy because I've been sitting behind him for two laps and I need to get on and go.' You're kind of sitting there waving your hand for him to come and give you a shove so you can get by. The pattern has been getting more and more aggressive. I'd say the other night in the Shootout was probably the first time I had been bump drafted in a corner and that's not a good thing. I think the intensity is there, not for everybody, but guys have to remind themselves that you don't bump draft in the corner. I think Kurt Busch bump drafted somebody in the dog leg at Talladega and spun him out and caused a wreck. You've got to remember when to do it and where to do it."
WHAT IS THE SENSATION WHEN THAT HAPPENS FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT? "It's not a simple get up behind you and nudge you and push you fast. A lot of times that's the case, but I'm talking about you better hope you've got your headrest close to the back of your helmet because it'll jolt you pretty hard. It's like if you're sitting still at a stop light and somebody hits you at about four miles an hour in the back. I mean, your helmet smacks the back of your seat when they hit you."
DO YOU FEEL THE TIRES COME OFF THE GROUND OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT? "I don't know what they're hitting back there, but it's a solid hit. Evidently, the guys are building the bumpers stronger, but it's not a deal where it lifts you up off the ground and takes your breath. For whatever reason it just gives you a shot. If you're stuck with somebody, it instantly pushes you by and then the that pushed you is stuck a lot of time. That's when he hopes somebody else is there to bump him past the same guy."