Blog Entry

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

Posted on: October 23, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 6:35 am
By Pete Pistone

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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Since: May 2, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:34 pm

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

CowboysForever9 - Sorry, for having misunderstood your original comment.  I agree 100%, this is not racing.  The Super-Speedway races are a joke, and it's really sad that NASCAR's flagship race the 'Daytona 500' is one of these spectacles.  Personally I don't think you should ever need the help of a 'friend' to win a race, that plan and simple goes against what racing is all about. 

I was never a fan of the nail-biter of race that was a single pack of 43 cars, but at least the driver had to make the right chess moves to get his way to the front. 

I often wonder if after the COT was introduced, if NASCAR ever conducted a test without the plates.  As long as the speeds aren't back up in the 212 mph range where Awesome Bill was back in 1987, why not take the plates off.  Heck, the 181.367 mph that Mark Martin qualified with was 18 mph slower than the restictor plate qualifying record of 199.388, which is another 13 mph less than the 212.809 mph speed without the plate.  So NASCAR has 31 mph to play with. 

Between the SAFER Barrier and COT, safety has come a long way since 1987, it would be curious to see what would happen NASCAR took the plates off and see what happens. 

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2011 3:35 pm

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

HardToBeat20, regardless of whether it's been here since the inception of the COT or not, it's just not racing to me.  That's all I was trying to get across.  It's an entertainment package from my perspective because I can't justify that what I saw on Sunday (or any previous plate races with this system) as a form of quality racing.  Whether it's new or it's been around for decades really doesn't matter.

Since: May 2, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2011 10:54 am

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

The whole race was manipulated by hire ups - within the teams not NASCAR.  I can't blame the owners for wanting their teammates to help each other out, especially the guys in the chase, but when Roush dictates to all of the other Ford teams what they should be doing (per David Gilliland and Bayne) then quite frankly I'm happy to see that the highest finishing Ford was in 11th, could have been a Top 5 or even a win if Jack wasn't involved - HA HA HA.

I listened to the 14 radio (and whoever he was working with) the entire race and once the 39 was out and he was looking for a partner he found the 20, which worked well for both for many laps, then when the 18 got caught up in an accident and the 11 was without a partner Joey was told in no uncertain terms that he was to drop back and help the 11.  Joey pleaded that he and the 14 were working great together and that he was in position for a great finish and Zippy had to clarify in a much sterner and harsh voice what it was that he was to do. 

At that point since Happy (29) was already out, the 14 switched over to the 27 (who had been working with the 29).  Menard told Tony that he was sorry he couldn't help him, because he had already committed himself to working with the 9 (a Ford team), then an angry voice that I'm pretty sure was Richard Childress came on the radio and said "go work with the 14", at the time I didn't realize there were marching orders for the Ford drivers, now I understand why the voice was on the angry side.  The part I found funny in all of this was that apparently the 9 (Ford) didn't have a problem being pushed by the 27 (Chevy), and the (14) didn't have a problem pushing the 20 (Toyota) - yeah, yeah you may say no kidding they were running up front, but when they started working together they were both back around 30th place and the 14 pushed the 20 through the field until the clean air was taking it's toll on the fender, that also means that Tony helped the 20 get back on the lead lap and on the next restart Tony dropped back from being in the top 10 to the rear of the field to hook back up with the 20, then they hooked up and worked their way back to the front together and ran there until the orders came.  I'm thinking Joey wasn't too happy with that 24th place finish, because apparently the 11 had no problem moving up to finish 8th without him - so much for teammates helping teammates.

Also, found it funny how quick the 11 went a lap down in the very beginning because with there being a 43 car field there wasn't a partner of any make available for him.  Maybe in this democratic world we live in today, that maybe NASCAR should change the rules for the next plate race so that each manufacturer must have an even number of cars in the field, and NASCAR should either increase or decrease the field so that everyone has a friend to play with. 

CowboysForever9 was a little off the mark also in regards to 'entertainment' package NASCAR has on plate tracks.  Even though the latest trend (since the spoiler replaced the wing) is the tandem racing, ever since the COT made its debut on a plate track, you have pretty much needed a slam-dancing partner - so this isn't really new to this type of racing. 

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:19 am

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

So this is what restrictor plate racing has come down to.....;.

Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: October 25, 2011 1:38 am

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

This is why I dont watch NASCAR anymore. Its all political and no racing. Who cares what make the car is. Its about finishing a race the best way you can even if you have to draft with a different make of car. No wounder NASCAR is losing so many fans. It is all about make the make of car companies. MONEY RULES ALL!!!!

Since: Jan 28, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:21 am

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

Bayne should recall that he probably would not have been in the Daytona 500 field if Gordon had not pushed him in the twin. No push no 500 victory, no 500 victory and his illness he wouldn't have been in this car. Besides I'd rather have Gordon helping me find a ride than to be stuck with the Wood Brothers.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:10 pm

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

Bottom line is that this "entertainment" package NASCAR has on plate tracks right now isn't racing.  Under the current system, it's completely impossible to win a race without relying on another individual to get to the lead.  That's just not racing to me and it's not something that I find to be particularly entertaining to watch on Sunday afternoon.  While there are guys like Michael Waltrip who used some of the elements of the old style racing yesterday (and I have to say he did an excellent job of manuvering his way through that massive wad of cars in the final two laps), the fact of the matter is that Waltrip (or anyone else for that matter) will never win a plate race with this current rules package unless they've got someone riding their tail or they're riding the back of someone, regardless of how well they understand the draft.

As for the Bayne and Gordon deal, that's just a result of the system we've got right now at restrictor plate tracks.  You almost have to feel bad for Bayne in the sense that he's got no ride secured for next year and he's at the mercy of the head honchos right now.  Technically, free will gives him the choice to do what he wants to do, but realistically his hands were tied.  Ultimately Ford ended up hurting themselves with that whole change of partners as Bayne and Gordon could have been in the position that Burton and Bowyer were in had they stayed together.  Had those two stuck together, Bayne could have been the one to make the pass on Gordon (like Bowyer did to Burton) and very well could have won that race.  It could be argued that Ford took away their best chance at a win by calling out orders in the final laps of yesterday's race.  To be honest, I don't think Gordon really cares too much as his chase was ended about three races in anyways.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:27 pm

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

Wah, Wah, Wah

Cry some more!  

Since: Nov 19, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:50 pm

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

That really clears things up  . . .???

Since: Dec 8, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:08 pm

Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon feud

I tend to recall Mr. Gordon doing Ford wrong.  Karma.

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