NASCAR & Auto Racing

Things that go bump on the track - and all the way around

Bump drafting is the art of hitting the rear bumper of the car ahead of you to get both cars going faster and to give the car doing the bumping some momentum for a possible pass.

Bump drafting got out of hand at times early in 2007, prompting a new term - slam drafting. NASCAR warned the drivers that it would police the practice more closely, and it has. But former series champion Kurt Busch says the new, bigger, blockier new car, in its first full season of competition, has made bump drafting easier and more prevalent.

"With these new cars, it's easier to bump draft and you can do it so much harder than before," Busch said. "I don't think NASCAR realized that fact entirely when the car was on the drawing board.

"With the old car, it became a situation that policed itself. If you bump-drafted too hard, you bent stuff and made your car overheat. That's not the case with these cars. You can go at it as hard as you want without that worry."

Busch said the bump drafting is also different at Talladega than it is at Daytona.

"It's really made Talladega easier and Daytona harder," he said. "You can bump draft at Talladega all you want and not pay a penalty (in your car's performance) because the track is so wide and it's all about speed. At Daytona, it's made it even more of a handling track. You can't do the bump drafting there so much like at Talladega because there is such a big premium on the handling of your car.