Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a Glowing Assessment of the Next Gen Car That Will Please NASCAR Fans

Published 01/13/2022, 12:16 PM EST
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AXALTA Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Earlier this week, the NASCAR Cup Series paddock was at Daytona for pre-season testing. Among the drivers was a familiar, but unexpected face, Dale Earnhardt Jr. The veteran driver hopped into the #5 Chevrolet of Kyle Larson, who is currently competing in the Chili Bowl Nationals. Following the test, Dale Jr. gave his verdict on the cars and was quite happy with it.

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He said, “The car does everything better than any NASCAR Cup car that we’ve ever had. It brakes better, has much more performance in the braking package. With the racket pinion steering, the steering is a lot more surgical. It’s a word that’s not used today, and I thought that it is a great way to describe it. Super precise, so when I turned the steering wheel to go around the corner at Daytona in the old car, you turn the wheel more. So, to steer the car with this racket pinion, I only need to turn the wheel about a fifth of what I used to turn it.”

Watch Story: Daytona Testing Highlights Featuring Dale Earnhardt Jrs NASCAR Return

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What else did Dale Earnhardt Jr have to say about the cars?

According to him, this is the same for any kind of steering input. Whether it is for side-drafting, getting across the racetrack, pulling away from a rival or dodging a crash, all the inputs will be smaller. At the end of the day, all of the drivers will have to learn to adapt to this change. Dale Jr. acknowledged that this could potentially put them in ‘uncomfortable’ situations.

FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 19: Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., stands on the pit box of the #88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet, driven by Jamie McMurray, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 19, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

The veteran driver has also insisted that he has no interest in competing in the Daytona 500 this year. After all, he is 47 years old now, and no longer in the prime of his career. Instead, he is content with just appearing in select Xfinity Series races, and his days of taking risks are now over for good.

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DIVE DEEPER

Dale Earnhardt Jr on Daytona 500 Appearance Talks: “Take a Guy Like William Byron, He’s Young. He’s a Risk-Taker and I’m Done Taking Risks”

14 days ago

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Dhruv George

12555 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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