NASCAR halts team in-car communication for 2012

Communication hits the old-school method in 2012.
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR

Rules have changed just as teams hit the track Thursday for the first pre-season test session of 2012. NASCAR has ruled that teams will not be allowed to communicate with each other on the in-car radios, with the goal of eliminating the tandem pairing.

Last season we saw everything from “team orders” being accused after Talladega. During that same race, Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon tried to work together but were shot down due to said team orders. Plate racing has essentially become politics; you aren't in my party, so I cannot share my vote with you.

NASCAR’s new mandate does not just affect the drivers; spotters are also unable to switch channels to another driver.

Each driver will be able to communicate on the radio with members of his or her own team, as is standard procedure.

Today during practice, we saw a case of drafting gone awry: Mark Martin inadvertently crashed his teammate Clint Bowyer. Although Martin did not blame the lack of communication on the slip-up, I think had they known the exchange was coming, that wreck could have been avoided.

With two more days of testing remaining, the Martin and Bowyer tandem will not be the only crash of the session. But, in my opinion, I think that removing communication for restrictor-plate races is a hazard to safety of the drivers when you add in the lack of visibility for the driver who is the pusher in the tandem.

I understand why NASCAR has implemented the rule, but I question what its outcome will be in the long run.
NASCAR halts team in-car communication for 2012 NASCAR halts team in-car communication for 2012 Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, January 12, 2012 Rating: 5