“There’s a Balance There…” – Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Hot Take on the Controversial Next Gen Car Compared to the Much-Missed Gen 6

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been known to be highly vocal when it comes to expressing his opinion regarding issues and things that concern NASCAR. Recently, Junior was seen explaining how he preferred the racing that would take place with the previous generation of cars over the current Next-Gen cars.

During his podcast, Junior stated, “The last-gen car. I mean that car that we were racing last year, it was so durable. It was beyond everything, like the brakes the engine, all the stuff was built to last well beyond anything it was going to experience on the race track right? The Next-gen car in a lot of people’s opinion, mine as well, is an even tougher car. It’s over, everything about it says unbreakable. Aside from this cheap rack that apparently we have. Which, they’ll fix that, NASCAR will not go back to Bristol and have this happen again. They’ll fix it, but a part of me wants the car to have those flaws, yeah be that vulnerability. I want the driver to need to nurse it and take care of it. The same way I want them to have to do with their tires.”

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He continued, “We have a car that eventually, you know after a few more bugs, get worked out of it, will be unbreakable, and then you got a tire that doesn’t wear. I mean, that’s just not going in the right direction. I don’t know, there’s a balance there. But I think the fact that I was sitting there watching the race going, ‘man these cars might not get to the end, whose tire, whose rack, you know who’s gonna be next.’ That made me, I would watch that again. I was entertained by the unexpected or the unknown.”

Safety concerns with the NASCAR next-gen cars

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Aside from the fact that the previous generation of cars may have been better at racing overall, the current gen promised improved safety and better drivability for drivers. However, soon into the season, everyone realized that wasn’t quite the case with the new cars.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – JANUARY 12: A NASCAR Next Gen model sits on display in the garage during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Daytona International Speedway on January 12, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Several drivers who had been in wrecks or impacts throughout the 2022 season spoke up about how hard the cars would hit and how the impact would feel on the occupants of these vehicles. Despite NASCAR’s data showing that the cars were much sturdier than before and that they supposedly absorbed more impact than before, drivers expressed otherwise.

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WATCH STORY: NASCAR Fans Suggest Candidates for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in His Quest to Find the Next Noah Gragson

The Pocono qualifying incident with Kurt Busch threw a brighter light on the current issues at hand, after which Busch was rendered unable to drive for the rest of the season, thanks to a head injury. Aside from impacts, a few races ago, Kevin Harvick’s car lit up on fire as the insulation meant to protect the drivers seemingly failed to do its main duty. It is hoped that NASCAR is swift in addressing all these safety concerns raised by those who drive those very cars and act on them as soon as possible.

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