Denny Hamlin has been an outspoken critic of the Next Gen car since it debuted in 2022.
The much-anticipated debut of the Next Gen car was not without its faults as NASCAR realized a number of changes had to be made throughout the season. The Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 driver was one of the voices to constantly remind NASCAR about some of the issues, including safety.
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Recently on his podcast “Actions Detrimental”, Hamlin spoke about the changes that NASCAR has been making in the Next Gen and how it is affecting racing.
“We have gone from high downforce to low downforce, right? And everyone was panicking because alright back in 2017, we cut the spoilers off, we took all the downforce away in the bigger racetracks. Well, that unfortunately from a TV standpoint looks like sh*t because sometimes somebody hits the setup and they just kick everyone’s a**.
“And what you look at is that probably the best racing we had at the mile and a half was the 550 [horsepower] package. They put enough downforce on the car to allow almost everyone able to run a lot of gas. So no brake, no nothing, you are running almost wide open.”
While Hamlin said that progress is being made, he said that would do this particular thing differently to how NASCAR has done.
“I personally think while we did that test in December in Charlotte and all the drivers are gonna f**king hate me for this, but they took almost too much grip away and now it’s causing our field to get spread back out. So if I were President, I would say okay, we are gonna raise the maximum limiter up to 9300 [rpm].”
Hamlin has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons recently after getting fined and 25 points docked by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Ross Chastain at Phoenix.