Next Gen car broke big teams' monopoly

NASCAR professionals reflect on how the Next Gen car broke big teams’ monopoly and leveled the field for everyone

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NASCAR Next Gen might have some negatives in its debut season but there are a lot of things to be excited about too.

The latter part of the 2022 season was dominated by drivers complaining about the safety issues in the Next Gen car. While NASCAR is trying hard to fix this and other issues with the car, it doesn’t have to take away the exciting racing that we say in the 2022 season.

The season saw 19 different winners in the course of 36 races and five first-time winners. Among the winners, two drivers were in the Championship 4 race for the first time in their careers. While the champion was a familiar face in Joey Logano, it doesn’t take away the fact that the Next Gen car brought more unpredictability and fun to the race tracks.

NASCAR listening to multiple in-race changes suggestions from drivers

However, its influence doesn’t only lie on the race track but outside too as the car broke the influence of big teams on smaller teams as NASCAR President Steve Phelps mentioned:

“Before this year (and) the Next Gen car, you had to have a relationship with one of five race teams if you wanted to come into this sport. You had to. This car changed that.”

What made the car exciting was the fact that everyone had to learn to use the car and everyone was in the same footing before the start of the season.

“It’s a steep learning curve this year with this car,” said Logano’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe. “It’s something totally different than what we’ve obviously used in the past. … A lot of the things we did in the past really don’t work with this car.”

Logano agreed with his crew chief. Even though he won the championship, he admitted that he felt lost at times during the season.

“Boy, this year was an adventure, to say the least,” Logano said. “It’s just kind of crazy to think about it all. It was a tough grind of a year, and a lot of times you just felt lost. The only thing that helped me is I realized that everyone else was lost with me. That’s one way to stay confident is when you know everyone else is lost, too.”

While the car might be a year old now, it still has a lot to offer. NASCAR will also certainly make some improvements in the car after a year of feedback.

Denny Hamlin in 2023 could find himself in the same situation as Kyle Busch in 2022

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