NASCAR admittedly did not have much success at both short tracks and road courses during the 2022 season. After being some of the best races before the NextGen car, they quickly turned bad and drivers, such as Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick, were not happy.
This is something the sport noticed and has been actively trying to fix. NASCAR conducted a two-day test at Phoenix Raceway with short track packages that would hopefully improve the performance.
As of now, nothing has been made official yet. However, NASCAR drivers have been working with the sport to fix the package by giving feedback and talking about the situation.
Chase Elliott discusses NACAR’s short track package as the sport tries to fix it
The criticism toward NASCAR’s short track package started early in the season at Martinsville Speedway when passing would be found to be borderline impossible. This carried over to other races, such as Bristol Motor Speedway.
The second race at Martinsville Speedway was better because it took place during the daylight hours. However, it took time for the tires to wear and the passing to begin on the same strategy.
Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, discussed the short track package with Motorsports journalist Matt Weaver ahead of the 2023 season.
“We were okay at (Martinsville Speedway) after about 80 laps when the tires finally fell off, so we just have to find a way to get there maybe a little bit sooner. I’m not smart enough to have all the answers but I can certainly provide feedback when asked, and I do. I’ve said this a lot but what we’re up against sometimes is that you can’t redefine the laws of physics and we’re not going to unlearn all that we’ve learned over the past 20 years. But there are some things that we can do to get closer to where we want to be, and I know everyone wants us to get there.”Chase Elliott on NASCAR’s short track package entering the 2023 season
One good situation that has been brewing ever since the debut of the NextGen car is the drivers’ willingness to openly talk about the issues that NASCAR has overall. The short track package is one of them and drivers have been vocal.
This has translated to healthy communication between the drivers and the ones leading the sport. It creates a situation where everyone is on the same page and that’s exactly what NASCAR needs moving forward.
As for now, the sport and its drivers will continue to work toward putting the best racing product on the race track. It may take some time but not everything can happen overnight.