With the advancement of technology, every role gets even more specialized such that you try to focus on getting better at one particular aspect only.
That’s also the case with NASCAR drivers. With a team consisting of specialized personnel with specific functions, drivers can concentrate only on the racing aspects. However, that doesn’t mean that drivers are not interested in their medium, ie. race cars.
It might depend on one’s personal choices as to how much one wants to know about it beyond the things needed to win races. After all cars, these days are very complicated that the ones that were used some decades ago.
Nonetheless, a recent Dale Earnhardt Jr. post on Twitter looked back upon the time when drivers could turn on wrenches and work on their cars by themselves.
A couple of Hall of Famers turning wrenches. pic.twitter.com/NTncunnsgD
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 16, 2022
The post not only created nostalgia among fans but many were also making a distinction between the past drivers and the current crop. They opine that the current drivers are incapable of working on their cars.
One even went far as saying that drivers prefer their celebrity status more than their racing driver status.
Something that is missing today
— Pillsbury Swoleboy (@_ChronicAutism_) December 16, 2022
Would be cool if the young drivers of today could at least explain how to fix this and that on the current car. Not turn wrenches themselves, but have the knowledge to turn those wrenches if need be.
— Miguel (@Elvis_Dale3) December 16, 2022
I always remember your Dad doing this all the time. Your Dad was definitely that kind of guy to work on the cars all the time and you would see the grease all over him.
— Michael Jr. (@Nascarlover87) December 16, 2022
I miss this version of NASCAR https://t.co/rATPq3vqQw
— Brandon Hayse Kettelle (@BrandonKettelle) December 16, 2022
Something that’s gone by the wayside. I love hands on drivers. I also understand contracts and deals etc. today is a lot different than yesterday. I do believe those hands on drivers bring much more to the table. Now days that’s a rarity unfortunately
— Ricky Sylvester (@winterpockhc) December 16, 2022
I'd love to see a current driver pick-up the laptop on one of today's cup car and start tuning on it..
See how long that would last https://t.co/aYFdXyr0ZG
— Joey Meier (@JoeyMeier) December 16, 2022
Just curious Jr not to spark debate but just curious if you feel like kids today are made from a different cloth or they would get their hands dirty if need be. Almost feels like racers today take the CELEBRITY title over the RACER title more serious. These guys were RACERS 1st!!
— Batknight717 (@batknight717) December 16, 2022
Well, there are just public opinions and we never know for sure how much a driver knows the car or how to use wrenches. Furthermore, as already mentioned, the racing system is very complex compared to the past.
The drivers know what it takes to win and, in the end, that’s all that matters.