William Byron is one of many NASCAR drivers continuing to race throughout the offseason in late models. He recently participated in the Florida Governor’s Cup race at New Smyrna this past weekend, and Byron fought hard with Stephen Nasse for the win. However, it was his comments after the race that got everyone talking.
What Byron Had to Say
William Byron chimed in on social media following the win. He called the battle a “Fun battle”, and he credited the battle to having parts on the car that “give up”. He mentioned that forcing a driver to manage equipment helps create battles like that.
Now, this is obviously very different from modern NASCAR, where the Next-Gen car is so durable that managing equipment is not quite as important as it was in the past. Many fans were quick to point that out on social media, and they accused Byron of taking a jab at NASCAR. Byron quickly refuted those rumors saying that he was just telling his experience.
We don’t know exactly what was going through Byron’s head when he initially made the comments, but, based on his response, it seems he was just showing appreciation for the race he participated in. He enjoyed the late model race, and it was different from the way that NASCAR runs. Different does not always mean better or worse.
Even if Byron’s intention was not to take any sort of a shot at NASCAR, what he had to say opened the door for an interesting conversation about modern NASCAR. Should NASCAR take a look at the cars being as durable as they are?
Should NASCAR Allow Parts to Wear Out Quicker?
There are benefits and detractors to both sides of this story. The current Next-Gen car has very durable parts, and it forces drivers to be up on the wheel racing as hard as they can throughout the race. Instead of watching drivers puttering around, trying to save their stuff throughout a race, they instead have to race as hard as possible. On top of that, it means race teams do not have to continually buy new parts, so, it saves money.
On top of that, it generally, although not totally, limits random part failures that can take a driver out of contention through no fault of their own. However, the problem is that it can create fields that are too close together. When drivers all have the same stuff that wears off at the same rate, it becomes harder to see any distinction between drivers and cars.
In the instance of the late model race at New Smyrna, as Byron points out, the car wearing out some throughout the race forced the drivers to manage. Those who managed the car throughout the race were the ones up front at the end, and it made an impact on which drivers could make moves during the money laps at the end of the race.
However, the downside is that there is an added cost of having parts that do not last as long. The shorter the parts last, the more money that race teams have to spend on new parts. On top of that, when a race becomes more about managing pieces, it forces drivers to be more conservative during the early laps of a race. That can make the early to mid portion of a race feel a bit dull and monotonous.
Ultimately, there are reasons to love and hate both sides. Maybe that is what Byron was trying to get at with his tweet, appreciating the race he was in rather than just dissing NASCAR. It’s an interesting dichotomy to observe between what you see in late models and what you see in NASCAR.