It seems like every day a new chapter unfolds in Denny Hamlin's advocacy against the seventh generation Cup car, better known as the 'Next Gen' car's, safety concerns. The past few weeks in the NASCAR Cup Series fraternity have been full of chatter about how the newer cars introduced in the sport this year have been harsher on drivers when it comes to making on-track contact.
With two drivers in the form of Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman having to miss races due to concussions caused by on-track accidents, there is bound to be a fire where there is smoke.
The most recent development in the ongoing issue which drivers have spoken about since the start of 2022 came when former driver Brendan Gaughan elaborated on what he thought of the scenario. In his recent appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Gaughan spoke about how the new car compared to the impact cars of yore used to experience.
He said that before the 2001 season and the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr., safety was not at the top of the governing body's priority list. Ever since the tragic incident at Daytona in 2001, a revolution came in the sport which made racing on ovals leaps and bounds safer from what it used to be.
Gaughan elaborated on how the newer car does not compare to that and said:
“I know it can’t be any harder than we were hitting concrete walls with cars that didn’t have any flex in them back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. I promise you, the hits aren’t harder than that, with a soft wall and the crushable impact of these things. So let’s find what it (the problem) is.”
Listen to the complete podcast below:
Denny Hamlin, on the other hand, seemed to disagree with the 2-time Xfinity Series winner. Hamlin replied to an excerpt from the podcast on Twitter and wrote:
Denny Hamlin has not been the only driver lobbying for change
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has not been the sole advocate for the need for a safer car in the NASCAR Cup Series. Fellow driver Kevin Harvick has also spoken on the topic several times.
After Alex Bowman's crash at Texas Motor Speedway, which gave him a concussion serious enough to miss the Yellawood 500, Harvick also took to Twitter to take a shot at the governing body. He wrote:
“Completely unacceptable that those in charge have let things get to this point. I remember it like it was yesterday @dennyhamlin in the presentation of the new car to the drivers pleading that the car was to stiff. Data didn’t agree. TIME TO LISTEN TO THE DRIVERS CRASHING THEM!”
Watch Denny Hamlin try and seal a spot in the Round of 8 next weekend as the sport heads to Charlotte Roval for the Bank of America Roval 400.