Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of the major voices in the NASCAR industry talking about different issues and solutions.
While he has been speaking about the Next Gen cars for a long time, as the second year of the Next Gen car is set to begin soon, the former Hendrick Motorsports driver weighed in his opinions regarding some aspects of the car.
The former driver is also very vocal about his love for short tracks. While he has always wanted NASCAR to have more short tracks, having seen Next Gen cars perform not up to expectations, Earhardt Jr. is not very optimistic about Next Gen car’s performance in such tracks this year either.
“What worries me is the new car and how it races,” Earnhardt said. “Like Martinsville — that worries me so much.
“I’m such a huge fan of short tracks, and we’ve got to get this thing to where it’s a great show at Martinsville, and you want to be able to go to Bristol when it’s concrete or Richmond and all these other places and expect to see what we’ve typically known as short-track racing. Very aggressive and hard bumping and grinding and all that good stuff. So I’m super nervous, not just about the very short-term future for the product on the racetrack at short tracks.”
However, performances in the short track are not the only concern for Next Gen cars right now. Another area of improvement for the cars is the spoiler. Fox’s Bob Pockrass reported on the drivers’ opinions regarding the spoiler after the recent test in Phoenix.
“Drivers said they didn’t think the different underwing made much, if any, difference,” Pockrass tweeted. “They said the small spoiler worked good in single-car runs but not a huge impact in their group run — but it is the right direction and they want even less and possibly even no spoiler.”
To which, the NASCAR Hall of Famer replied:
Damn right! I’ve wondered what no spoiler would feel like for the drivers for a while now. I hope they at least try it to see the result. https://t.co/KW8Pys4CnG
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) January 25, 2023
“Damn right! I’ve wondered what no spoiler would feel like for the drivers for a while now. I hope they at least try it to see the result.”
However, not everyone agrees with such a move. When Brian Murphy of Stewart-Haas Racing countered that such a move would take away one of the few things that helps catch the car, Earnhardt Jr. replied:
“Let’s not worry about catching the car, they are professionals!”.
As a former driver, Earnhardt Jr. is advocating for races to be more challenging for the drivers and more entertaining for the viewers.