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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR Mailbox: Should “Retired” Drivers Be Allowed To Race in Lower Series?

After this past weekend’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series event at the Texas Motor Speedway, there has been a lot of talk about Greg Biffle’s big win. Biffle returned to NASCAR competition for the first time since 2016, and for his first Truck Series race since 2004. To say that it was impressive for a driver — veteran or not — to return to competition after such a lengthy hiatus and immediately put it back in victory lane is an understatement.

However, this also opens up the question of what could happen if other currently retired NASCAR drivers come back for a one- or two-race deal with teams in the lower series.

Could this potentially pose a problem in the lower series? Or will it become a new, popular trend?

Meanwhile, the bump-and-run has been a part of NASCAR racing for many years. However, the dump-and-run has been something that many people have frowned upon in the past, including this past weekend following the K&N West event.

Which is acceptable? Both, none, or one of them?

Q: How do you feel about retired drivers coming back for a race or two in the trucks or Xfinity like Dale Jr and Greg Biffle have? Robert O. San Jose, CA

A: There is no issue with this at all, and I would hope fans would not have an issue as well. It is very good for the sport to have well-known names like these come back even if only for a race or two per season. It may not help the year-long popularity of the series, but at least for a few races, the return of somebody like Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the field could at least give the series a needed boost.

Biffle winning Friday night’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race at Texas was popular for sure, and having more drivers come back and try to accomplish the same feat is something I believe fans enjoy seeing. Biffle had not competed regularly in three years and won like he was never gone.

Somebody like Matt Kenseth or even Kasey Kahne (if he is ever approved to race a stock car again) would generate a lot of interest. Kenseth is probably done racing in Cup and may be open to racing something for a race or two if given the opportunity to win again. Kahne can still do well if given the right chance and his Truck record speaks for itself.

People love it when the more popular drivers from years ago come back from their retirement to give it one more go. I have not seen one negative response from Biffle’s win at Texas, and I do not think anybody would be against him winning again if he runs another race this year for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Personally, this should happen more often. Whether it does or not is up to teams, drivers, and any sponsors that may want to come on board. These next few years, it could happen more often than it has, and I know most of us really hope that is the case.

Q: What’s your opinion on the bump and run versus the dump and run to win a race? ie: Hailie Deegan at Colorado versus Logano at Martinsville? Howard T., Omaha, NE

A: Obviously both incidents had everybody talking for a while and both incidents allow for some comparison and contrasting.

The bump and run is perfectly acceptable. It is a typical short track move, and can extend to any type of track as long as the driver ahead does not wreck. This tactic has been used for many years by many drivers and no one seemed to ever have a problem with it until recently. It is a perfectly legitimate racing move.

The dump and run? Not so much. I get that most drivers try to keep things even with the driver they are racing — as in, “I race them how they race me.” It is one thing if someone gets roughed up and repays the favor, but if there has not otherwise been any contact and the leader gets dumped anyway, that is one hundred percent unacceptable.

Deegan’s incident can go either way. Logano in my book was completely acceptable too, but where do you really draw the line? Logano did a perfect bump and run on Martin Truex Jr. for the win in Martinsville that eventually led him to a championship. Perfectly executed.

Deegan sent it very deep into the corner after her teammate Derek Kraus roughed her up a little bit on the restart. Deegan did a pure dump and run for the victory and it just does not seem like the right way to win.

No matter how you look at it, this is a product of short track racing in NASCAR. This is going to happen again, people are going to debate, and in a way, it is good for this kind of buzz to be generated around the sport.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the moves, there is one thing we can learn from this … please NASCAR, more short tracks.

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About Brandon Hauff

Brandon Hauff
Brandon is a 22-year-old from NY and has been a passionate follower of motorsports for 14 years now. He recently graduated from Molloy College on Long Island with a BA in Communications. Working within NASCAR has been a dream for Brandon for a while, and he hopes to be able to live out the dream in the very near future.

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One comment

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    Only if they have no chance to win.