NASCAR limits drivers’ radio communication to their teams only image

NASCAR will limit drivers’ communication to just their crew starting the 2013 season.

Following last year’s ban on radio communication between drivers, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said now drivers won’t be able to talk to the crew chief or any other members of other teams. A driver will be able to contact only his/her crew (those assigned to his car number) on the analog channel that a driver uses. However, a driver can still talk to his team owner, who will be allowed to talk with any of the owner’s drivers and crews.

According to Sporting News, many NASCAR teams use digital radios to talk privately among themselves before delivering messages to the driver. However, digital radios are illegal for communication with the driver. With the new rule, NASCAR wants to make sure that drivers are focused on performance and not on switching radio channels or listening to several voices. The 2013 NASCAR season kicks off Saturday night with the running of the Sprint Unlimited preseason race.

In January 2012, NASCAR prohibited drivers from communicating with other drivers during the race. Drivers talked to each other primarily at Daytona and Talladega when two-car drafting tandems were very common.