HMS driver Kyle Larson Crew Chief Daniels was featured on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio this week to summarize the repetitive problem with Next-Gen in the 2022 Cup Series season.
Daniels went off on a rampage calling out NASCR when asked about loose wheels the HMS crew chief blamed NASCAR for giving teams useless equipment and then went on to say officials only make matters worse when they hand out meaningless penalties.
The loose wheel issue occurred in numerous races this season with the newly introduced Next Gen car, affecting drivers such as Bubba Wallace, Corey LaJoie, and Justin Haley which faced a four-race suspension of the crew chief and two team members.
“I hate that I’m going to have to say it but it’s the truth, the razor-thin line that we’re on right now from having a fast pit stop and having a potential issue is smaller than it has ever been,” Daniels began. “And believe it or not, there is more complexity and nuance in the single-lug pit stop than there was in the five-lug pit stop. And I know that’s really hard to believe, but a lot of it does boil down to limitations that we have with the current pit gun.
“A few things that I’m going to say are inadequate with the safety mechanisms that are supposed to keep the wheel nut from falling off that I don’t believe you can blame the teams, and the tire changers, the pit performers every single time for what we’ve seen this year. I would say that NASCAR needs to step up, and NASCAR needs to improve the pit guns. NASCAR needs to improve the stuff that we’re using.”
“And the other thing that is really kind of mind-blowing is the penalties that they give out,” he said. “It was already very very difficult to do for a pit stop and we have really handpicked guys that have been brought up through our systems that are so trained, and we’re trying to make them experts in their area.
Bubba Wallace 23XI racing was the most recent team to lose a wheel at COTA and had its three team members handed a four-race Cup Series suspension.