Nascar’s swing on the west coast is in the books. Some good racing, also, some problems presented themselves.
But first. Congrats to Kyle Larson, winner at Auto Club Speedway, Alex Bowman, winner at Las Vegas, and of course, Chase Briscoe, winner at Phoenix. Way to go S.H.R. Tony’s patience has paid off. Smart guy, IMO. Add in Austin Cindric, Winner at Daytona, and we have 4 different winners, so far in this young season, 2 of them being first time winners at the Cup level. That’s the good news.
Now, what I feel is some not so good news.
Many issues with the Next-Gen car presented themselves.
We had the teams of Penske and RFK Racing showing the problems, at Daytona, with (and doing something about it, and unbelievably, not getting into trouble) the tolerance of the single lug fitting into the rim opening, and the issues that, that presented. NASCAR went kind of mum on that issue.
We had the cooling issue with the Toyotas at California, which was due to those teams putting a “screen” in front of the radiator to keep the debris from building up on the radiator. Didn’t work out so well, as said screen caught the debris, and that restricted the airflow to the radiator, causing the overheating.
We also had the stability issue at California, (yes, that bump in turn 4 had a lot to do with it, and the tar seams on the track), but my point is, we had an unbelievable number of cars wiping out on their own, (that rear diffuser needs to be addressed, as well), at least 4 were not able to complete qualifying runs in the final round. And finally, Flat tire equaled a ride behind the wrecker. Extra laps lost, due to flat tires, because of the inability to get to pit road under their own power. Not good
At Las Vegas, and Phoenix as well, most of these issues seem to have been addressed, (less banking) except for one, THE TIRES! This, in my opinion, is going to be the Achillies Heal with this new car. I do believe that most of the other issues will get worked out. We’ll see.
The new 18 inch wheel allows less of an inner liner to be used, so when a flat tire occurs, with the low ground clearance of the new car, they are in trouble on any kind of banked track, or if they end up in the grass.
Wait until we get to tracks like Bristol, Dover, or Darlington. I feel the problem will be magnified.
At this point, I feel that Nascar needs to bag the 18″ wheel and go back to the 15″ wheel with the bigger inner liner. They can certainly reconfigure the rims to the one lug thing, if they want to.
Overall, I am still giving this new car a chance, they do look pretty cool. However, if one cannot get back to the pits to get service on their own————