Denny Hamlin Joins Kyle Busch in Criticism of Next Gen Car Performance

“He’s so right though. And that’s the tough part about it, is that when you look at the final restart, it looks like the last lap."- Hamlin said.

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin Joins Kyle Busch in Criticism of Next Gen Car Performance
© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

The frustration regarding the Next Gen cars continues. Experienced driver Kyle Busch wasn't happy after the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and he expressed his frustration on social media. Busch lost momentum in the final lap and finished 27th. 

This was not a result that pleased the experienced driver. He voiced his frustrations through the media, emphasizing that he "tried to race for the win, but ended up last," stating that he "hates these cars." Shortly after his social media reaction, Denny Hamlin also spoke out, analyzing the recent race on his 'Actions Detrimental' podcast and sharing his opinion on the Next Gen cars. Denny believes that Busch is absolutely right, highlighting specific individuals in the race who were on the outside and inside lines.

“He’s so right though. And that’s the tough part about it, is that when you look at the final restart, it looks like the last lap. The two cars that controlled the outside line and the inside line were the same cars the entire last thirty laps. Because you cannot afford to get out of line. If you get out of line, it’s over. The reason that is is because these cars have a ton of drag. That’s basically how far the car can go down the straightaway… On top of that, we’ve changed to a common engine because we want to save costs… so we now we have more horsepower than we’ve ever had on a superspeedway."- Hamlin said, as quoted by On3!

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

Hamlin explained that NASCAR has introduced a significant rear spoiler to slow down cars due to concerns about cars flipping over in recent years. This precautionary measure is aimed at reducing liability. Consequently, the cars have been slowed down even more over time. He elaborated that when cars form a line on the track, the drag on each individual car decreases significantly as the air resistance is divided among multiple cars. 

Although NASCAR officials faced numerous negative reactions to the changes they implemented, it appears that their intentions are not to alter the current rules and system. NASCAR officials are primarily focused on ensuring safety first, and then maintaining the excitement factor that keeps fans on the edge of their seats and makes us watch this sport. Some wonder whether NASCAR can still generate excitement among fans with such rules in place.

This phenomenon allows cars to accelerate faster, especially when closely following each other. Hamlin emphasized that the closer a car is positioned to the cars in front and behind, the faster it can go due to the drag being shared among all the cars in the line.

Hamlin pointed out the downside of attempting to pass when in a line of cars. He compared it to deploying a dragster parachute at the end of a run, causing the car to come to an immediate stop due to the heavy drag.

Sometimes, it's challenging to achieve your goals and pass someone when there are obstacles like these. Many NASCAR drivers feel frustrated by this, but they also realize that at the moment, they can't change much about the situation.

Denny Hamlin on Talladega and the puddle onto pit road

Denny Hamlin reflected on Talladega Superspeedway with a particular emphasis on the puddle onto pit road, which also caused his spin. The experienced driver highlighted that it's difficult to avoid such obstacles. He wasn't quick to criticize the race officials, stressing that they did a good job, but still couldn't avoid certain things.

“It’s a little hard to avoid because they weren’t there until they were there. They actually did a really good job cleaning off the racetrack, but what happened is the track — it does get water underneath the surface through cracks of the track. So, when the underside of the pavement gets saturated with water, when we drive on it, it’s like a squeegee. It has to push water out somewhere. And the nearest path of any resistance is in any crack that’s in the track."- Denny Hamlin said.

Unfortunately, Hamlin encountered this situation and spun out after driving through the puddle. He prioritized avoiding hitting the inside wall to prevent huge damage that could end his race day, opting instead to spin through the grass and potentially make contact with other cars.

He's not the only one who didn't have positive outcomes from this race. Alongside him, several other drivers also experienced crashes. However, Hamlin doesn't intend to dwell on this race, aware that the next challenges await and offer a chance to improve. He expects the best from himself in the upcoming races, understanding that it won't be easy.

Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch