Do blocking and "advance tactics" define today's NASCAR racing?

Racing always evolves but Kevin Harvick believes some of today’s moves would get “a fist in your mouth” 10 years ago.

Do blocking and "advance tactics" define today's NASCAR racing?
Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Global Poker and Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1 / Rush Truck Centers
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Crash, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Chocolate Bar, Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Credit One Bank, Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Jimmy John's
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Fastenal spins
Start action
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Jimmy John's start
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Office Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wabash National
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta Patriotic leads a group

Side-drafting, aggressive bump-drafting, blocking – all of these things have been a part of NASCAR racing, but in recent years their frequency seems to have increased.

Every inch of the track – and sometimes parts not on the racing surface – are used to a driver’s advantage in order to gain a win, a good result or simply another position.

Read Also:

Asked Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when the more aggressive form of racing began, Harvick said: “If you drove like this 10 years ago, you’d have had a fist in your mouth.

“What changed were the rules and when every spot becomes that much more difficult to achieve, you have to defend the spots that you have because you know that you might not get it back, and you know that you have to block.

“Blocking is a part of what we do. Defending your position is a part of what we do and it’s just an evolution of where the rules package is.”

Blocking at superspeedway races has been commonplace for years, and also quite controversial.

There are no rules in NASCAR prohibiting blocking, but more than one driver has vowed to wreck those who insist on doing it repeatedly.

NASCAR’s new aero package in the Cup series this season seems to have contributed to an increase in the use of blocking as a form of drafting has become commonplace now at intermediate tracks.

“On the mile-and-a-half race tracks, if you can keep somebody behind you – and that comes with side-drafting and blocking and all those things – if they’re directly behind you, there’s no way they’ll pass you because of the aero,” Harvick said.

Brad Keselowski, who won the pole for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire, agreed with Harvick “100 percent.”

“Things have changed dramatically in that what was acceptable 10 years ago would get you pushed out of this sport if you were a driver that did it today, because you’d lose your ride,” he said. “So, this sport is dynamic. It always has been. 

“Certainly, the drivers change over the years and the tactics change over the years. The side drafting since I’ve been a part of the sport has become more prevalent. The moves just have changed. The game has changed.

“As a whole, my philosophy has always been that you’re not a great driver unless you can take a car that shouldn’t win and win with it, and that’s going to come through ‘advance tactics.’ Some of those tactics are less controversial than others.  Some of them evolve the sport in good ways or bad ways.

“But the reality is that’s what separates the best from the good."

Read Also:

shares
comments
Brad Keselowski tops Kyle Busch for New Hampshire pole

Previous article

Brad Keselowski tops Kyle Busch for New Hampshire pole

Next article

Erik Jones tops second Cup practice; Byron and Larson wreck

Erik Jones tops second Cup practice; Byron and Larson wreck
Load comments
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
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020