Restrictor plate racing and its new tandem drafting style claimed another pair of drivers who don't see eye to eye in the aftermath of Sunday's Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Jeff Gordon and Trevor Bayne, who famously worked together back in Daytona at Speedweeks, were also hooked up in Sunday's final plate race of the year. That is until it mattered most.
Ford driver Bayne bailed from Chevrolet driver Gordon in the final dash to the checkered flag leaving the Hendrick Motorsports driver high and dry. Without a drafting partner Gordon sunk like a rock and finished 27th, a long fall from what looked like it would be a promising day.
"The unfortunate part is that we made a deal with somebody and they reneged on it after we took the green,” Gordon said after the race.
Gordon said at first he was a bit surprised Bayne had even agreed to draft with him given the manufacturer difference between the two. But once the deal was in place, Gordon believed it would stick to the checkered flag.
“I didn’t expect him to agree," Gordon said. "I came on his radio and asked him and he said, 'Yeah man, I’m pushing you. We’re good. Let’s go, let’s go."
Bayne didn't formally comment to the media in Talladega but took to his Twitter account to explain his side of the story.
“I'm not happy about what this has become ... It's too premeditated. We should be able to go with whoever is around is,” Bayne tweeted.
“I would have rather pulled over and finished last than tell (Jeff Gordon) I would work with him and then be strong armed into bailing.”
The controversy comes in the wake of several team owners specifiying that their drivers assist only teammates or others within manufacturer camps.
Jack Roush was the most vocal over the weekend reportedly instructing his drivers to not assist anyone outside the Roush Fenway Racing or Ford stable.
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