Drivers practice 'sketchy' tandem draft in Daytona test

Drivers learned a lot in the two-day test at Daytona International Speedway, and some even experimented with the tandem draft.

Although the tandem draft we saw dominate superspeedway racing at the beginning of the 2010s is long gone and will likely never return, the ability to push another car out in front of the pack could still prove to be the winning move in February's Daytona 500.

Three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin showed just how powerful it can be when he pushed Joey Logano out in front of the pack during Tuesday's test session. However, the pack quickly caught back up as the duo became separated. 

"You can't do it for a long period of time, but the benefits of it seems to be heightened a little bit where you can really start trucking when you get them hooked up," explained Logano during Wednesday's media availability. .

He later added: "I don't think you're going to be able to do it for a long period of time for a few reasons. One, the car gets hot right away but also, those round bumpers make it pretty sketchy."

Fast, but unstable

The Team Penske explained that the car ahead gets very unstable due to the rounded bumpers of the Next Gen car.

"Austin (Dillon) and I did it a lot last night and you're white-knuckle the whole time. You're hanging on tight, steering a lot, just trying to go straight with just two of us out there. So imagine if you had 40 cars out there doing that. It's a little much. That round bumper piece is a little bit challenging for us to all deal with."

Read Also:

Logano, who won the Daytona 500 in 2015, felt just "little differences" in the draft and how it worked, but believes those little things could add up in the end. 

"The ability to get to someone's bumper is pretty easy and being able to lock bumpers and get going was a huge benefit," he said. "Nothing real crazy stood out, just finding little differences. You start stacking those things up, it becomes pretty different. But it’s a bunch of little things, not one 'wow this is so different from the past.’ There's still going to be a big pack racing out there. There's still going to be a big crash. When you get us all close, it's going to happen. So, it'll be exciting."

Kurt Busch reacts to tandem draft

Hamlin also practiced the tandem with fellow Toyota driver and 2017 Daytona 500 victor Kurt Busch. Busch moves over to 23XI Racing for the 2022 season, a team co-owned by Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan.

"We were pushing each other around there in a tandem just to see how it would play out," said the elder Busch brother. "The lap time picked up a ton. It's just real sketchy when you're doing it. It's not as stable as the old car just yet. But these cars go through a lot more attitude changes ... The car just moves around and that's what it is supposed to do. It just makes it tougher on the drivers to have to digest everything that's going on."

NASCAR will return to Daytona for the 64th running of the Daytona 500 on February 20th. CLICK HERE for the entire Speedweeks schedule.

shares
comments

Related video

Daytona 500 Next Gen testing speeds: Fords lead the way
Previous article

Daytona 500 Next Gen testing speeds: Fords lead the way

Next article

Ryan Preece adds 'multiple' NASCAR Cup races with RWR

Ryan Preece adds 'multiple' NASCAR Cup races with RWR
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021