NASCAR faces more questions about new car after Bristol bash

NASCAR faces more questions about new car after Bristol bash
NASCAR faces more questions about new car after Bristol bash

Kyle Busch deserved better than two failed Toyota engines in the first round of the NASCAR playoffs.

But at least Busch knows what happened to end his night at Bristol Motor Speedway and leave him “flabbergasted” at being knocked out of the playoff field.

Martin Truex Jr? He could only laugh as he stood in the garage next to his broken down car as fellow Toyota driver Bubba Wallace came in for repairs.

“There’s another one,” he said with a smirk. Truex also referenced Kevin Harvick’s comments after his car caught fire in the first race of the playoffs at Darlington three weeks ago.

“What does Harvick say?” Truex said of his own Saturday Night Number. “Crap parts.”

At least a dozen playoff drivers had some sort of issue with NASCAR’s new Next Gen car at Bristol, where the spec car that leveled the playing field was exposed for a myriad of durability issues that l followed throughout its first season.

The Ford camp suffered a rash of flat tires, Toyota was plagued with power steering failures, drivers in the race for victory were knocked out of the race for a number of mechanical gremlins and overtaking was a task for the more difficult.

The 12 lead changes were the lowest in over a dozen years at Bristol, and only four of those changes were under the green.

“Just hard to pass,” Harvick said. “The car is way too fast in the corners. I can not run.

Harvick was in a position to fight for victory until a wheel fell off his Ford during the final round of pit stops and knocked him out of the playoffs.

Now there’s a new set of questions about the next generation, an industry-wide project to develop a single-source parts car that both contained costs and helped small teams fill away from the powerful NASCAR organizations. It worked, as Chris Buescher became the 19th different Cup winner this season on Saturday night.

Buescher’s victory marked the first time since this version of the NASCAR playoffs was established that drivers not competing for the title have swept the entire round. Erik Jones won at Darlington and Wallace at Kansas; neither is a playoff driver, nor is Buescher, who earned his second career win in his 250th career start.

But Buescher won by stretching his final two-tire pit stop the final 61 laps of the 500-mile race, as a lack of tire wear (save for that rash of blown straight fronts on the Fords) caused kept runner-up Chase Elliott on four fresh tires comfortably in his rear view mirror.

The Next Gen has been questioned about safety issues since rumors of disastrous crash tests during the development phase, and those issues have only increased since July when a crash in qualifying gave Kurt Busch a concussion that kept him out of competition for nearly two months. Other drivers reported feeling the force of impact in crashes far worse than ever before, and a series of fires at Darlington led NASCAR to make a series of rule changes.

There are now a new batch of complaints after Bristol, where Harvick’s Kyle Busch and Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick were knocked out of the playoffs.

“We need NextGen 2.0. I just need to know who is going to pay for this,” Denny Hamlin tweeted. Hamlin is co-owner of the 23XI Racing team which was without Kurt Busch for nine races.

“Passing was just impossible,” Hamlin said after the race. He too had a flat tire at Bristol but felt the difficulty in overtaking was the biggest problem.

“I would like to see the race improve overall. Some lap time variations a bit. We just run there and it feels like we run faster on the corners than on the straights,” Hamlin said. “We had some steering issues, and it looks like our Toyota teammates had some steering issues as well.”

Yes, all six Toyotas had an issue, ranging from tires for Hamlin and Christopher Bell, steering issues for Truex, Wallace and Ty Gibbs, and engine failure for Kyle Busch.

And it was a mixed night for Brad Keselowski, who won the first stage of the race for his first stage win of the season and looked set to race for his first win of the season. Keselowski moved from Team Penske to RFK Racing this season to drive with a stake in Jack Roush’s team, and he was desperate to give RFK its first win.

But then his tire burst as he led with 87 laps to go and Keselowski’s journey to victory lane was to congratulate teammate Buescher. He acknowledged passing was tricky — but said it wasn’t supposed to be easy — and said NASCAR needed to continue working on next-gen.

“Would I like to see us continue to work on the cars? Absolutely. I’ve said it to NASCAR and I’ve said it to the media before and I’ll say it again: “If the Next-Gen car looks the same as this year, then we’ve failed,” Keselowski said. said. “We have to keep growing. We must continue to learn. We have to keep improving it. There are probably car owners who don’t want to hear it because it costs money to change cars.

“There’s the ‘everything is wrong with this car’ camp and there’s the ‘nothing is wrong with this car’ camp,” Keselowski added. “I would like to continue working on it. It seems a lot, like a lot of things today, that polarization means there is no room for common ground. In my eyes, I’d like to see some small tweaks, but I’m grateful and proud of our sport and where the Next Gen car has taken us so far.

. NASCAR does face questions about new car after Bristol bash

. NASCAR faces questions car Bristol bash

PREV Palou will receive an engine change, likely a grid penalty
NEXT Predicting 7 players the Cowboys will make inactive against the Buccaneers