Dale Earnhardt Jr Reveals One Aspect of Next Gen Cars that Makes it Difficult to Drive

Published 01/12/2022, 8:59 AM EST
MOORESVILLE, NC – DECEMBER 06: Dale Earnhardt Jr. watches on during the Nationwide 2019 Paint Scheme Reveal at GoPro Motorplex on December 6, 2018 in Mooresville, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


Earlier, the Hendrick Motorsports team dropped a massive bombshell at the Daytona International Speedway. With Kyle Larson competing in the Chili Bowl Nationals, they roped in Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his stead. So, the former Cup driver got his first taste of the Next Gen cars, and he gave his verdict on them.

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He said, “The racket pinion steering is probably the one thing that’ll be the most difficult to get used to. It’s so much different from the old style, the car steers really fast. You might turn the wheel quite a bit to go around the corner, or try to get a car to side-draft. I’m very surgical with the steering wheel now, very small movements to make the car do a lot. So you can’t get real crazy with the steering wheel, because the car’s just going to take off and start darting around.” 

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What else did Dale Earnhardt Jr. say?

According to him, even though NASCAR has tried to slow down the cars, they are still too fast for his liking. Despite that, he is confident that the rest of his contemporaries will adapt well. Dale Jr. observed that these issues will mostly pop up at big tracks like Daytona.

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RICHMOND, VA – SEPTEMBER 11: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, at road courses and at short tracks, the drivers are going to fall in love with the cars. For the upcoming season, the drivers will have the 510 horse power engine and seven-inch spoiler for superspeedways. In other words, this rules package will be in play at Daytona, Talladega and at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr also admitted that whatever the drivers learned at Daytona will be applicable at Talladega and Atlanta. However, he also confessed that the loads will be a lot different in those tracks. Additionally, the tyres will also feel different at the various venues. At the end of the day, the whole grid is entering the 2022 season with a blank slate.

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What’s your take on this? Do you agree with Dale’s comments?

DIVE DEEPER

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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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