Denny Hamlin Declares That NASCAR Fans Are “Going to See Different Type of Racing” in This Year’s Daytona 500

Published 02/11/2023, 5:30 AM EST

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It is safe to say that the NASCAR Next Gen cars haven’t received the best feedback. Denny Hamlin surely has had his share of complaints with the Gen-7 car. Ever since its introduction in 2022, the cars haven’t turned out to be the safest ones. We have seen drivers suffer from a concussion and other hazardous injuries. This has certainly raised doubts about the cars’ reliability.

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The Next Gen cars made their debut in the Daytona 500 last year and since then a number of changes have come into place. NASCAR has now focused on enhancing the safety of drivers while using these cars in 2023. In order to achieve this, they have implemented changes to the rear bumper construction, the rear, and the center chassis clip. With the Daytona 500 one of the fastest circuits, it will be interesting to see how the modified Next Gen cars fare out in this plate-racing event.

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Denny Hamlin is excited about the Daytona 500

The three-time Daytona 500 winner knows it all when it comes to winning the biggest Crown Jewel race. There is no doubt that he will be giving his all to increase his tally in Florida.

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Speaking ahead of the season opener, Hamlin spoke about how it could be with the Next Gen cars in Daytona. He said, “You’re going to see a different type of racing than what we have seen in the past. But still, we have seen some great finishes here even last year with side by side. So you are going to see some great racing but it is a different type of technique, especially with the next gen.”

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This comes after the 23XI Racing co-owner recently questioned why there were no practice sessions in place before the race. Given that it is the biggest race of the year and the first of the NASCAR Cup Series, Hamlin’s point seems to be valid.

Next Gen cars do have their positives

The concept of bringing the Next Gen cars was not only to bring down the operational costs but also to create a level-playing ground for all involved. The other reason was to prevent the hassle of maintaining two separate styles of car. Before 2022, every team had to use different cars for mid-length tracks and road courses. Not only that, but the team was also to make a specialized plate-racing car.

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With the introduction of Next Gen cars, only a single car is used for all these races. In addition to that, the new aerodynamic features help the sport get more competitive. In fact, the effect of this was already seen last season. There were 19 different winners throughout the campaign, out of which five had never even won a race before.

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No driver won more than five races last season. Also, drivers from seven different teams featured in the playoffs. After all, this is what the Next Gen cars are capable of. Even the smaller teams can have the brightest of chances.

There is no doubt that safety surrounding the Next Gen cars still persists. It is a work in progress and with more valuable inputs from people like Denny Hamlin, NASCAR can help make it better and safer with time. The upcoming Daytona 500 race will surely give us a better idea of this.

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Written by:

Priyank Harikrishna Mithani

426Articles

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Edited by:

Ajinkya Aswale

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