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via Imago

via Imago

Following the rather dull and boring race at Richmond, which saw RFK driver Chris Buescher take his 3rd Cup Series win, NASCAR legends like Dale Earnhardt Jr and Denny Hamlin sparked a conversation on social media, raising questions about the state of short-track competition.

As fans weighed in on the matter, the concerns over the declining quality of short-track racing became apparent.

Dale Earnhardt Jr has proposed an interesting solution for the Richmond Raceway, one that NASCAR has used in the past to sort the racing ability issues on other short tracks. Amidst the growing concerns, NASCAR is also getting ready to introduce certain measures to help improve racing in the future.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr’s solution for Richmond and the cryptic response from Denny Hamlin

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Dale Earnhardt Jr, a respected voice in the NASCAR community, took to Twitter to suggest a potential fix for the lackluster short-track racing. His tweet advocated the use of resin in the higher lanes at Richmond Raceway. A tactic that has proven effective in improving other tracks’ racing quality. However, JGR’s driver, Denny Hamlin’s reply, carried a note of skepticism, hinting at underlying issues beyond the need for a quick band-aid solution.

Following the race, Dale Jr tweeted, “Richmond may need some resin in the higher lanes. I’ve seen it help some other tracks.”

Denny Hamlin replied to his tweet in a cryptic fashion, “Sounds like a band-aid for something else wrong?”

Dale Jr was quick to respond that the solutions for the ‘something else wrong’, may not be on the horizon. “The fix for something else ain’t coming anytime soon. Won’t hurt to try it till then.”

This back-and-forth between Dale Jr and Hamlin attracted fans to chime in with their opinions on the matter. Here’s how the fans reacted.

Chase Briscoe, the driver of the #14 for Stewart-Haas Racing, said, “I’m all for it.”

While someone fan said, “Short tracks suck Jr ! Softer tires and some resin should help”

“Boring as hell, not the same Richmond race,” another fan supported.

One fan called it one of the most boring races. “Something needs to happen! Probably going back to night racing. I’m a huge NASCAR fan but that was the most boring Richmond race I can remember! I actually fell asleep watching, would rather watch golf!”

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The desire for change is evident, with fans highlighting the urgency for NASCAR to address the issues impacting the short-track racing experience.

What is NASCAR doing to address short-track racing issues?

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NASCAR has been diligently working to address the challenges faced on short tracks due to aerodynamic and drivetrain issues with the Next Gen car. The introduction of the 2022 Next Gen car brought a more balanced racing product on intermediate tracks, but it also inadvertently impacted short-track racing, leading to less overtaking and intense battles for position.

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To tackle this issue, NASCAR’s COO, Steve O’Donnell, revealed the organization’s commitment to developing solutions in the wind tunnel to enhance the short-track racing experience. By fine-tuning the aerodynamics and drivetrain, NASCAR aims to create opportunities for drivers to capitalize on competitors’ mistakes and foster more competitive and thrilling racing on short tracks. The upcoming testing at Richmond will serve as a crucial phase in evaluating these adjustments and determining their impact on the racing product.

Speaking to Corey Lajoie on the Stacking Pennies podcast last year, Steve O’Donnell said, “So if you’ve got a good car and you’re out there and you’re able to pass guys, you should be able to do that. And so we’ve looked at what’s happening in short tracks. You look at the brakes on the road courses, they’re so good. So this car is different for sure. But it presents some challenges on both short tracks and road courses. So we’re looking at a lot of things around the aero. Certainly looking at some things around the tires, but you know that’s going to be our big focus in the offseason is both road courses and short tracks for sure.”

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With Dale Jr suggesting quick fixes until some concrete solutions are developed, and Hamlin questioning such fixes, fans have made their voice heard. Share your thoughts on what else NASCAR could do to elevate the excitement of short tracks in the future.

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