Racing at ‘Dega is producing team 'pecking' orders

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

The new way of racing at Talladega, the two car tandem, requires a dancing partner as they have named it and this has resulted in some odd pairings. Seen in practice this weekend was the Chevrolet of Tony Stewart with the Ford of David Gilliland, until team orders put a halt to that. Gilliland has acknowledged that Ford has said they do not want to see a Ford pushing a competitor to the win when two of their own drivers are battling for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Gilliland said clarifying the rumbles heard through the garage area, “we're not banned (from working together), but when you lay out your initial plans, you've got to think of the big picture. Ford does a lot for us, and we'd really like to see a Ford win this championship.

Continuing, Gilliland said, “you never know what can happen on into the race. As far as our initial plan, it is to work with Ford. … We aren’t banned. When you lay out your initial plans, you have to think of the big picture and Ford does a lot for us and we would really like to see a Ford win this championship.”

Other teams, such as the two Stewart Haas cars of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman prefer not to draft together, separating the teammates gives the team a chance to get a better finish in case one should wreck. At this point, Newman is already set to partner with Denny Hamlin. As for Stewart, I am sure he will find a partner now that Gilliland has been told to back off.

All this talk of who is dancing with whom reminds me of the high school dances. When the checkered flag drops, does Tony have a partner? If not ask nicely and maybe buy some flowers and candy and by the drop of the checkered flag, someone will be hot on the bumper of the No. 14 car.

The interesting part has been seeing teams divide up – Chaser/Non-Chasers working together, so I imagine there has to be team orders there as well. If Greg Biffle is pushing Carl Edwards towards that finish line and wants to try and pass him for the lead, I cannot imagine that would sit well with the boss since Edwards is trying to maintain his points lead. Same goes for Harvick who is paired with his non Chase teammate, Paul Menard.

There will be so much to watch during the race tomorrow: will we get to 100 lead changes? Can Edwards, Harvick and Kenseth walk away with their points lead in tact? Will someone say “stuff it” on the team orders and ditch a teammate for a win?

Tune into the Good Sam’s Club 500 on ESPN at 2pm est.
Racing at ‘Dega is producing team 'pecking' orders Racing at ‘Dega is producing team 'pecking' orders Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, October 23, 2011 Rating: 5