Rodney Childers Slams NASCAR’s Secretive Phoenix Test Approach With Bold Rookie Claim

Published 12/05/2023, 1:21 AM EST

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NASCAR is all set to test a new package in Phoenix this week that will supposedly improve short-track racing. The two-day session will feature six Cup Series drivers, two each from the three engine manufacturers. However, veteran crew chief Rodney Childers believes that the test could have been used as an opportunity for rookies to practice so that they weren’t too unprepared going into the Daytona 500.

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Rodney Childers has been in NASCAR as a crew chief for almost two decades now. The 47-year-old’s greatest achievement came in the 2014 Cup Series season when he helped Kevin Harvick win the championship. Next year will mark his tenth anniversary of being in Stewart-Haas Racing. So when someone with his experience and caliber speaks, people tend to listen.

Rodney Childers raises Daytona 500 concern ahead of NASCAR’s test session

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Every year, the Daytona 500 sees racers across the country and beyond try their luck at it. It is not the easiest task to qualify for the main fixture and even for the ones that do, winning The Great American Race is a whole different ball game. A lot of these drivers from outside the Cup Series are rookies, and sometimes, that can be an issue.

The Daytona International Speedway is a two-and-a-half mile tri-oval with a highest banking of 31 degrees. It takes a lot of skill just to navigate the track at high speeds, let alone race a host of other cars. For rookies who have had no practice, this can be a daunting task and may often lead to mistakes that disrupt the racing action or cause a serious accident.

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To this end, Rodney Childers believes that NASCAR could have used the testing opportunity to help rookies get an idea of what it was like to run those types of cars. The SHR crew chief let his thoughts be known on his ‘X’ handle.

“Haven’t had to think about this in a while.. No reason this couldn’t have also been a rookie test. Wouldn’t hurt anything to have more cars there, and gave the rookies some seat time before just showing up at the Daytona 500 with no practice,” Childers said.

However, this is not the only demand cropping up surrounding the test session. While drivers have called for more horsepower to improve the racing aspect, the stock car racing organization doesn’t seem to be testing that particular element in Phoenix.

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Cup Series driver’s Phoenix hope may not be delivered upon 

As per NBC, NASCAR will test aerodynamics, transaxle, mufflers, and tires as a part of their short track package. This will come as a disappointment to one of the test drivers, Christopher Bell, who was hoping that he would see more horsepower.

“I do know what I’d love to get out of there is about 300 more horsepower but we’ll see if that happens,” Bell had said earlier. “Horsepower for sure, that’s my opinion and I’m sure if you ask a lot of the other drivers, they’re gonna say the same thing.”

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It will be interesting to see how the drivers react to the test session and overall, whether it will have a positive impact on the current short-track racing situation. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

785Articles

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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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