Although there is a lot of science behind bump drafting, the act of bump drafting is an art. Even the experienced bump drafters are surprised by the touchiness of the cars this year.
Note added 14:14 2/22/12: OK, I did predict that this was likely to change. You can look at the chart on the video and see that the temperature at 28 psi is about 271 F.
One thing you will hear a lot as soon as coverage of practice starts Wednesday will be speculation about possible changes to the pop-off valve on the radiator. What is a pop-off valve and how will it affect the Daytona 500? Here’s the answer:
One of the reasons for the focus on the pop-off valve is that it’s one of the most easily adjustable pieces of the strategy to prevent tandem drafting. If the temperatures are warmer, NASCAR can raise the pop-off valve pressure if they think there might be a need for more cooling. EFI makes changing restrictor plate sizes a bigger deal than it used to be – so if there are changes, this (and the size of the grill opening) are the most likely places for them to happen.