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NASCAR exploring big change to the NextGen car in 2023

NASCAR has the "wheels in motion" for a big change to the NextGen car that would affect the on-track product in a significant way.

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NASCAR drivers have found that operating cars with higher horsepower makes it more difficult to drive overall. This creates more off-throttle time and gives them more control of the racing vehicle.

There is a reason that drivers despised the 550 horsepower package as it was impossible to pass with little time off the throttle. The new 670 horsepower package has been an improvement, even though drivers are pushing for it to go higher.

While NASCAR is reluctant to go above 670 horsepower, there is another way that drivers could be more out of control when competing in the NextGen car. This comes after the final two-mile race at Auto Club Speedway.

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NASCAR has ‘wheels in motion’ for a major change to the NextGen car

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Feb 26, 2023; Fontana, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR made several changes to the NextGen car for the 2023 season. These changes include the rear of the cars, hoods, cooling louvers on the hood, and other minor things. The situation regarding the fires from last season has also been addressed.

The second season of the NextGen car will be fascinating to watch as the sport and its teams have one year under their belts. However, there could be another modification coming that changes the dynamic moving forward.

Denny Hamlin gave an interesting piece of information on his podcast, Actions Detrimental, regarding a change that NASCAR is considering with the NextGen car.

“I have heard rumors; however, that NASCAR is exploring grooved tires. That is a way, it’s actually pretty smart…it is a way to make us be a little more out of control…I think the wheels are starting to turn in motion to test grooved tires to take some of that contact patch off the road…it might be an alternative to get us back out of control.”

Denny Hamlin on NASCAR’s possible change to the NextGen car

This would be a huge change that changes the way drivers compete in the NextGen car. If the sport moves to grooved tires, the input behind the wheel will be more important as the car will have less grip overall.

NASCAR would have a scene where its best drivers are showing off their talent even more. That is what everyone wants as the car should not be easy to drive every weekend. Granted, that is not the case right now.

However, this could be a beneficial idea that really improves the quality of racing on the track. NASCAR may not raise the horsepower any time soon but there are other ways to make the drivers and fans happier.

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