Denny Hamlin Seeks Answers: Why Won't NASCAR Increase Horsepower?

“The engine bills are the same, I’ve been saying this forever."- he said.

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin Seeks Answers: Why Won't NASCAR Increase Horsepower?
© Chris Graythen/Getty Images Sport

Many NASCAR drivers have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that NASCAR does not want to increase horsepower. This experienced NASCAR driver, during his "Actions Detrimental" podcast, discussed the challenges drivers face in modern times. Denny Hamlin doesn't understand why NASCAR executives make such bizarre decisions even though the bills remain the same. He believes that these issues need to be resolved soon.

“The engine bills are the same, I’ve been saying this forever. The engine bills are the same now as they were when they were 900, Jared. We buy engines, we know.”-Hamlin said, as quoted by

On the reporter's question about what stops the whole process and why they don't increase power, Hamlin emphasized that they need to call Jim France.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dustin Long, call Jim France and ask, I don’t know, I don’t have the answers for that.”

Hamlin is somewhat confused by NASCAR officials' decisions. Aware that such a decision could improve the situation in the NASCAR scene and add an element of excitement, Hamlin cannot understand what halts the whole process. Fans also support such a proposal, realizing that it will improve the quality of NASCAR.

"I don’t know I’ve seen … I don’t know. You hear [Steve] O’Donnell talk about it because reporters ask him constantly, ‘The drivers overwhelmingly want this, it seems like the fans want this, why not?’"

Hamlin is expressing confusion about the decisions made by NASCAR officials. Normally, NASCAR responds to media inquiries and discussions, but in this case, regarding horsepower, there has been an unusual lack of communication. Hamlin is highlighting the fact that NASCAR hasn't provided a clear explanation to both drivers and the public about the reasons behind maintaining the current horsepower levels.

There is suspicion that there are specific reasons NASCAR officials are avoiding discussing. This is what frustrates Hamlin.

Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano reacted: I think you'd need to be above 1000 horsepower 

Tyler Reddick is one of the NASCAR drivers who emphasized the importance of increasing the power several months ago. However, Reddick is one of those who believes it must be above 1000 horsepower.

"A couple of months ago just for fun I asked some of the guys at 23XI. There is a weird knob we can work on to basically increase the power of the car by 150 horsepower. Didn't really change it much. I think you'd need to be above 1000 horsepower to like, really move that needle."- Reddick said.

Reddick is pointing out that if NASCAR eliminates shifting gears, the cars would require a huge increase in horsepower. Without the ability to shift gears, maintaining the power needed to spin the tires at 5000 rpms, the peak would have to be much higher than the current levels.

Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin
Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin© Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images Sport

Joey Logano, another popular driver, is facing challenges this season. While he hasn't highlighted issues with horsepower this season, he was one of the vocal voices about this problem in the previous season. Logano is not accustomed to racing under such conditions.

Joey Logano
Joey Logano© Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images Sport

Last year, Logano expressed his frustration about racing against cars that, in the past, were easier to pass. He notes that there isn't enough speed difference between the cars, making it hard to overtake opponents. 

According to Logano, the cars have similar speeds and don't experience enough performance drop-off. To improve the racing experience, he suggests the need for a more significant performance drop-off and a substantial increase in horsepower. 

Since Logano made that statement, not much has changed. It seems that the only option left for him is to adapt to the current conditions and hope for some changes in the future. The fact that NASCAR officials have not reacted or provided answers does not instill optimism that things will improve in that aspect.

Although the media sparked optimism with certain announcements at the end of last year, it seems that nothing has come of it. 

NASCAR leadership is looking for various options to enhance its short-track and road-course racing, with the possibility of a long-awaited increase in horsepower.

O'Donnell, from NASCAR, said in November last year they are thinking about many possibilities to make racing more exciting. But, he also mentions that it's not easy; there are costs to consider. It's not just about adding more power; they need support from car manufacturers and new technologies. They want to make choices that work well not just now but in the long run.

Several months have passed since then, and it seems that no one wants to talk about this anymore. Hamlin's dissatisfaction continues, with hopes that there might be changes in the future.

Denny Hamlin