Dale Earnhardt Jr. on NASCAR Horsepower Proposals and Eliminating Shifting

“I’m telling you even with all of that [horsepower talk] I still want them to try and work on getting rid of the shifting."

by Sead Dedovic
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on NASCAR Horsepower Proposals and Eliminating Shifting
© Meg Oliphant/Getty Images Sport

Horsepower has been an inevitable topic in the NASCAR scene for quite some time. Several drivers have highlighted this issue, with the latest being Denny Hamlin. The Actions Detrimental podcast provided him with an opportunity to express dissatisfaction since NASCAR officials are reluctant to increase horsepower. 

He finds this fact frustrating and believes that changing such a rule would add an extra element of excitement. Shortly after, there was a reaction from former NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had something to say about Hamlin's statements during the 'Dale Jr. Download' podcast. 

Earnhardt is someone who thinks highly of Hamilin, but it seems that when it comes to this topic, they do not share the same opinion. Dale believes that adding horsepower will not make a huge difference. However, aware that Hamlin is a part of the NASCAR scene, he still has doubts about it.

“I mean I love Denny’s honesty and I’m glad. If this is important to him and he believes that it will make a difference, I’d hope that he’d continue this argument. I can’t be sure that just adding horsepower is gonna make a big difference. But Denny drives the cars, and I would trust his feedback on that. And I’d certainly trust his feedback if he’s telling us about the cost being pretty much flat if you were to move from one horsepower to another — it wouldn’t change anything."-Earnhardt said, as quoted by on3.com

Earnhardt is suggest that there might be valid reasons why NASCAR hasn't increased horsepower, and NASCAR officials like Steve Phelps have probably explained those reasons before.  However, Hamlin and his colleagues have emphasized several times that NASCAR officials haven't provided clear or concrete explanations. What particularly annoys them is the fact that NASCAR officials lack specific reactions and are unwilling to go deeper into the reasons behind their decisions.

Dale Earnhardt Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

He points out that there were extensive discussions about this topic during the off-season and at Daytona. 

He mentions that engine experts like Doug Yates, who works with Fords, and Toyota teams claim they can easily reach 750 horsepower without any problems. He also commented on Hamlin's statement where this NASCAR veteran emphasized that there are no obstacles to increasing horsepower.

Earnhardt believes this change could happen quickly, possibly even before the next race weekend, and it wouldn't affect durability or cost more money. He expresses a personal desire to see NASCAR give it a try at Martinsville Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt wants shifting to be eliminated 

Earnhardt, just like every NASCAR fan, has certain ideas in his head, and he believes that NASCAR needs to change some things. He put a special emphasis on eliminating shifting from NASCAR. Earnhardt is someone who believes that shifting takes up NASCAR drivers' time and affects them not making the best decisions.

“I’m telling you even with all of that [horsepower talk] I still want them to try and work on getting rid of the shifting. I do not think that even though they are getting to where it’s second nature to them to shift, having to drive into a corner and downshift and then do another shift on the next straightaway, doing that for every single corner, for 500 laps at Martinsville, right. That takes away from your processing on how to set the corner up, how to set up the car in front of you, how to make a difference in the corner."-Earnhardt said.

Earnhardt Jr. expressed that NASCAR drivers are getting sidetracked from what they truly want to improve: their ability to tackle corners more effectively and find new strategies for passing cars ahead. He believes it would be beneficial if NASCAR could find a solution to eliminate gear shifting on oval tracks, allowing drivers to focus more on mastering these crucial skills during races. The former NASCAR driver wants drivers to have equal conditions as well as the best conditions to give their best.

There are many things that need to change in the future and adapt to modern times. NASCAR officials must be open to changes, considering that many motorsports are evolving every day. Looking at statements from current and former drivers, changes are necessary at this moment. Fans want many things to change, as sometimes they feel the excitement factor is missing. The most important thing is to do everything to improve the quality of NASCAR races. This requires time, desire, and dedication from the leaders of this motorsport.

Earnhardt is someone who has left a huge mark on the NASCAR scene, so his suggestions can serve as a great foundation for NASCAR officials to carefully consider what needs to be changed.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr