NASCAR’s Next Gen cars have been making a lot of waves this season but not all of them are positive. And one of the major talking points has been about the safety of the drivers.
Many drivers have been vocal about the safety concerns, including Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Both drivers have hit out at NASCAR for not taking drivers’ input seriously.
However, from the team’s point of view, Andy Petree, the vice president of competition at Richard Childress Racing, is happy with the dialogue they have with NASCAR. He also explained that NASCAR is working towards design changes to address the safety issues.
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“I think NASCAR is doing a good job of taking input listening to what we are saying as an industry,” Petree said. “I don’t know about the drivers … they may not be getting the response that they feel like they need on some of these things, but NASCAR is working on the car. I see some future design changes that are hopefully going to address some of the things that the drivers say about some of the impacts, and maybe soon we can make the car a little better.
“But I’m happy with the dialogue that we have and the collaboration that we have when we’re trying to fix problems. The steering is one of those. We have a group of people who meet about that, put their input in it, so we can hopefully move forward and make that system a little better. So yeah, I’m happy with where we are on that.”
Drivers have been complaining about the safety concerns in the Next Gen car for a while now. However, with the concussion suffered by Kurt Busch and recently Alex Bowman have brought the topic into the limelight again.
While this is just the debut season for the Next Gen car, but it has a long way to go until drivers and owners alike feel safe and happy about NASCAR’s choice of this Gen-7 car.