Short tracks, especially Martinsville, have presented a challenge in recent memory when it comes to the ability to make passes. For anyone who watched the Martinsville race this weekend, saw glaring comparisons to last year’s races at the paperclip. Drivers sounded off, asking for a change to fix the racing product.
- With the new aero package for short tracks, NASCAR reduced the downforce with a smaller 2″ spoiler, a move that Joey Logano said is a “step in the right direction”, but fellow driver Denny Hamlin says they need more horsepower to restore the ability to pass.
- NASCAR introduced this new package in hopes that it would fix the passing issues at short tracks, and the package received praise at Phoenix during its tests, however on Sunday it didn’t appear to have worked as well as the drivers, or fans would have liked it to.
- As a fan, we can all agree that more passing will create a better on track product. Martinsville ranked incredibly low on polls that Jeff Gluck, reporter for The Athletic, posts weekly on Twitter asking fans if that weekends race was a good race or not.
Around the Garage
Denny Hamlin didn’t hold punches after the race on Sunday at Martinsville, saying that “this is the new NASCAR where these cars cannot pass.”
"This is the new NASCAR where these cars cannot pass. You just get out front, don't mess up on pit road, don't mess up your strategy and you'll win."— Frontstretch (@Frontstretch) April 16, 2023
Hear more from Denny Hamlin after the Cup race at Martinsville:
(via @TreyLyleVT) pic.twitter.com/a8mGJPkC3J
Hamlin would then go on his “Actions Detrimental” podcast by Dirty Mo Media and say that the savings on the engine bill didn’t justify the on track product.
What should NASCAR fix with the NextGen car? DH breaks it down 👇— Dirty Mo Media (@DirtyMoMedia) April 17, 2023
*NEW* Actions Detrimental with @dennyhamlin is out now!
Web: https://t.co/RBrcLQLQMz pic.twitter.com/pdnVQINEMj
Kevin Harvick has his ideal horsepower number….
1000 HP spec. Order it… https://t.co/HAaR0cNC8K— Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) April 17, 2023
In the Stands
Kevin says if the fans don’t like the product, it doesn’t matter if they save money on the engines.
Jason isn’t a Hamlin fan, but agrees with him 100%.
Bob says the drop in ratings is related to the on track product, and not Chase Elliott’s absence.
Mike thinks passing at Martinsville has always been difficult.
In the Pressbox
Bob Pockrass, reporter for Fox Sports, tweets this information from Hendrick President Jeff Andrews.
Jeff Andrews, president of Hendrick, said any changes for 2024 need to be made now b/c their parts supply chain would need to start production/planning now to increase horsepower. Would need different pieces b/c currently made to handle two races at current horsepower. https://t.co/77FsPQuEw3— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 17, 2023
Jeff Gluck, reporter for The Athletic, posts this poll after every race weekend asking if it was a good race or not. Vote yourself, and see the results. Fans have it very lopsided right now.
Was Martinsville a good race?— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) April 17, 2023
The passing was certainly a challenge, much like last year at Martinsville, and aside from pulling the Hail Melon and passing 6 cars in a single corner, it is a chore to be able to gain position here. What is the solution? Will NASCAR be able to figure something out for racing at Martinsville? We will have to wait and see.