“There’s a Balance There…” – Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Hot Take on the Controversial Next Gen Car Compared to the Much-Missed Gen 6

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. is known to be very vocal when it comes to voicing his opinion on NASCAR related issues and matters. Recently, Junior was seen explaining how he preferred the race to take place in the previous generation of cars rather than the current Next-Gen cars.

In his podcast, Junior said, “The last-gen car. I mean, that car we raced last year, it’s very durable. It’s beyond everything, like the engine brakes, all the things are built to last more than anything it will experience on the racetrack, right? The Next-gen car in many people’s opinion, including mine, is a tougher car. It’s over, everything about it is said to be unbreakable. Besides on this cheap rack we seem to have. Which, they’ll fix that, NASCAR won’t go back to Bristol and do it again. They’ll fix it, but part of me wants the car to have flaws, yes that’s a weakness .I want the driver to have to take care of it and take care of it. The same way I want them to do their tires.

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He continued, “We have a car that eventually, you know after a few more bugs, you improve it, it doesn’t break, and then you have a tire that doesn’t wear. I mean, that’s just not going in the right direction. I don’t know. I do, there’s a balance there. But I think the fact that I’m sitting there watching the race, ‘probably these cars aren’t going to make it to the end, whose tire, whose rack, you know who’s going to be next. ‘ That made me, I will watch it again. I am entertained by the unexpected or the unknown.”

Safety concerns with next-generation NASCAR cars

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Apart from the fact that the previous generation of cars may have been better at racing in general, the current gen promises improved safety and better driving for drivers. However, soon into the season, everyone realized that wasn’t the case with the new cars.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – JANUARY 12: A NASCAR Next Gen model is on display in the garage during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Daytona International Speedway on January 12, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Several drivers who have been damaged or impacted throughout the 2022 season have spoken out about how hard the cars hit and what the impact will feel like on board these cars. Despite NASCAR data showing that the cars are stronger than ever and that they supposedly absorb more impact than ever before, drivers say otherwise.

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WATCH STORY: NASCAR Fans Nominate Candidates for Dale Earnhardt Jr in His Quest to Find the Next Noah Gragson

The qualifying incident at Pocono with Kurt Busch shed a brighter light on the ongoing issues, after which Busch was unable to drive for the rest of the season, thanks to a head injury. Impacts aside, a few races ago, Kevin Harvick’s car burst into flames because the insulation meant to protect the drivers apparently failed to perform its primary function. Hopefully NASCAR is quick to address all of these safety concerns raised by the drivers of the cars themselves and act on them as soon as possible.

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