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Denny Hamlin Jumps on Dale Earnhardt Jr’s “Shifting” Bandwagon, Saying It Restricts Passing

Published 06/27/2023, 11:40 AM EDT

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In the world of NASCAR, opinions and strategies constantly evolve in pursuit of better performance on the racetrack. Recently, Denny Hamlin, a prominent figure in the sport, has joined forces with Dale Earnhardt Jr, expressing his concerns about the impact of shifting on the racing experience.

Hamlin believes that eliminating shifting on ovals, specifically at tracks like Martinsville, could significantly enhance passing opportunities and overall competition.

Denny Hamlin On Next Gen Car’s Shifting Problem

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In a recent episode of ‘Actions Detrimental’, Denny Hamlin raised an interesting point about the grip on the track surface. Hamlin stated, “I didn’t really feel the resin as much, I don’t know if they did it as much as the previous years but it didn’t seem as grippy or it was already burned off before we got there, but it seems like we definitively have work to do.” 

Hamlin, further emphasized the impact of shifting on the cars’ performance, stating, “I know they’re gonna work on that splitter, the up-down splitter coming up at a test.”

He further added, “I’m more of on Dale Jr’s side where he said it’s a tire thing, a shifting thing. I think that if there’s some way we can figure out how to get rid of the shifting. We’d have to run more top-end RPM because we’d be balled down so bad if we had to run 5th gear all the way around the track. But i think that really plays a factor in the passing capability. I mean, you can pass, but you’ll pass somebody when they really lose the balance. You just hope to keep up with the cars in front of you and they start to, their tires and all degradate and you make moves on em” 

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Dale Jr’s View on Shifting and Next-Gen Car Impact

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Dale Earnhardt Jr has been an advocate for eliminating shifting at ovals for some time. Earnhardt firmly believes that shifting hampers the ability to make passes, especially at tracks like Martinsville. He expressed his thoughts by saying, “The number one thing that I believe is the biggest problem with the short track package in a track like Martinsville is the shifting.”

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“I would be working right now to get rid of all shifting at ovals. There is no need for us to be shifting a gear at any oval race track, any oval, much less Martinsville.”

Earnhardt’s viewpoint aligns with Hamlin’s, emphasizing the detrimental effect of shifting on the quality of racing. He argues that shifting introduces unnecessary complexities, hindering drivers from maximizing passing opportunities. By eliminating shifting, the focus can shift towards other aspects of racing, such as tire management and line selection, which are considered more traditional elements of oval track racing.

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As Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr advocate for the elimination of shifting on ovals, the NASCAR community must consider potential solutions to address this issue.

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Written by:

Dasnoor Anand

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Dasnoor Anand is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports who brings a fresh perspective to the world of motorsports. She has always had a knack for writing and a love for cars. For years, she has been a devoted follower of motorsports and is particularly intrigued by the inner workings of Formula 1 teams as well as Stock Car Auto Racing.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh