‘Bump And Run’ A Topic At Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Bump and run. What’s acceptable? What’s crossing the line?
That’s always the question when NASCAR visits road courses. And at a long, but narrow track like Road America, the temptation to use the bumper tends to be greater. It’s also more frequent.
In the previous four races at Road America, two need a green-white-checkered finish. And of the 27 cautions for 52 laps, 13 for 22 have been in the final 15 laps – all because of accidents on the course.
That may sound like much, but races at Road America is only a 50-lap race. Well, that’s what the scheduled distance is. Most of those late-race restarts last less than two laps because of contact, with drivers using their cars to push and shove, and make some kind of space with their cars.
“Nothing surprises me here,” NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Regan Smith said after Friday’s practice session.
In last year’s ARCA race at Road America, Chase Elliott made a couple questionable moves that led to accidents. Elliott wasn’t and hasn’t been the only to push the envelope at Road America.
Jacques Villeneuve is another that’s often tested the limits of Road America and the tempers of drivers and crew chiefs. In 2012,
Villeneuve spun Danica Patrick while battling for position in the late stages of the race, which prompted her crew chief, Tony Eury, Jr., to approach the former Formula 1 World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner.
“I just told him if you’re going to be a great race car driver, you better start driving around like one and perform like one,” Eury said in 2012. “Every time he comes here he’s either taking out Max (Papis) or Danica. It’s just a matter of respect for the Nationwide Series.”
In 2011, Villeneuve made a move into the grass going into Turn 1, which led to a crash, collecting Papis, who was the race leader at the time.