NASCAR Veteran Denny Hamlin Worries About Slower Current Speeds

Expanding on his thoughts, Hamlin used the example of Daytona qualifying to express his worry about the reduced lap speeds observed recently

by Sead Dedovic
NASCAR Veteran Denny Hamlin Worries About Slower Current Speeds
© Meg Oliphant / Getty Images Sport

Denny Hamlin had the opportunity to criticize Next Gen cars during the Actions Detrimental podcast, expressing dissatisfaction with how they perform on super-speedways. The NASCAR veteran explained his perspective, emphasizing at the outset that Next Gen cars have a tremendous amount of drag. Denny believes that these cars are much slower on super-speedways compared to their predecessors.

“So the reason why this is going on, and there’s various reasons. The Next Gen car has a tremendous amount of drag. So the spoiler is giant. The car itself, even with no spoiler, has way more drag than the Gen 6 car. If you put the same size spoiler, and the same engine, in a Gen 6 car, which is the previous generation, versus a Next Gen, the Next Gen’s going to go slower down the straight-away, just because the body and how it’s shaped is slower."- he said, as quoted by

Fans and current drivers have frequently pointed out problems with Next-Gen cars. NASCAR officials will need to address these issues soon. Denny Hamlin, with his experience, provided further insight into the main problem during his speech. Hamlin's opinion holds significance given his expertise in the field.

“So with it having so much drag, it also creates a big air pocket, that allows cars to suck up into it, and just kind of run half-throttle, and yet be right there next to the car that it’s behind. So anytime you can run 10% less throttle than the person in front of you, it’s going to allow the fuel mileage to get way, way better. Probably from five miles per gallon to six miles per gallon.”- he continued.

Expanding on his thoughts, Hamlin used the example of Daytona qualifying to express his worry about the reduced lap speeds observed recently, a concern shared by other drivers, including the experienced Joe Gibbs Racing veteran.

Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin© Meg Oliphant / Getty Images Sport

Hamlin pointed out that the current speeds are much slower, marking a significant departure from the pole position speeds witnessed in the last three or four decades. According to him, the cars have been slowed down excessively, primarily due to increased safety concerns arising from incidents where cars flipped over, creating a sense of panic in the racing community.

NASCAR fans, on the other hand, desire faster races and the excitement factor that seems to be missing at the moment. Comparing this sport in the past and now reveals an important difference. While safety is crucial, maintaining the excitement factor is also essential to retain current fans and attract new ones. Every sport introduces innovations year by year for progress and a focus on safety. The modern era demands a kind of adaptation.

Denny Hamlin used Danica Patrick as an example

While he emphasizes the importance of safety, Hamlin argues that the speed reduction seems excessive.

To explain it, Hamlind told to imagine a car race where one driver, Danica Patrick, had a faster lap speed when driving alone, but when all the cars came together in a group (pack), the total speed of the group was only a little faster. This happened because cars naturally experience less air resistance (drag) when they are driving alone, Hamlin pointed out.

Hamlin thinks that NASCAR has changed the cars in a way that makes it harder for drivers to do exciting moves on tracks like Daytona and Talladega. The new design of the cars makes it tough for drivers to switch lanes or pass others easily. And that's exactly the missing factor that everyone, both fans and drivers, long for.

Unlike before, drivers can't smoothly make bold moves because the current cars create more air resistance (drag). This stops the car from going fast when trying to pass others. 

Legendary drivers like Dale Earnhardt and Tony Stewart could make great moves in the past, but now, the new cars act like a parachute, slowing down the car a lot when trying to pass. So, drivers usually stay in a single line to avoid these problems and stay safe.

Hoping for the future to bring specific changes that will delight both Hamilton and all NASCAR fans. According to many, it's senseless to follow races if the rules don't allow us to see the best from drivers and provide the excitement factor for everyone. Denny Hamlin is one of the NASCAR ambassadors and a person demanding changes in the upcoming period. Fans are left to wait patiently and see what will happen.

The next race we will have the opportunity to watch is the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta. We'll see what it has in store for us and who will ultimately emerge as the winner. Several names are mentioned as the main favorites.

Denny Hamlin