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Given how the world is heading, everybody needs to amp up and do something to clean up the planet! As such, the motor world was asked to wake up and go all-electric. IndyCar has already joined the hybrid world. Moreover, Extreme E is taking the “electrify everything” trend seriously, with its hydrogen-powered battery electric vehicle series. And now, after fielding months of rumors, NASCAR has finally debuted its electric prototype in Chicago. The debut was in partnership with ABB, the title sponsor for Formula E. But Dale Earnhardt Jr had other thoughts.

Its arrival has sparked numerous concerns and debates about whether it signifies the launch of a new series or the discontinuation of one from the current lineup. Dale Earnhardt Jr talked about it in his latest podcast and doesn’t believe it is here to take on the established series.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. assures EVs in NASCAR means no threat!

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems clear that fans have nothing to worry about because there doesn’t seem to be any chance it will be infringed on any of the three Series-be it Truck, Xfinity, or the Cup Series. In the podcast, Junior said, “Look, I’m not worried about it sort of infringing on what we love about NASCAR and the three series: the top three series—Truck, Xfinity, and Cup.” He added, Dude, that looks exactly like the slot cars that I raced.’ … It’s just like that. … It’s a big toy. That’s all it is. Nothing to be scared of.”

Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t seem to have any problem with the car and in the podcast, they even talked about how there could be a 30-lap race and it’d be a fun experience to watch. However, Junior has one complaint with the physical aspect of the car, which he felt gave a very “car of tomorrow” vibe, which he didn’t appreciate. He clarified that NASCAR isn’t a great car designer, and ultimately that car everyone saw is not the end game.

He said, “Once the manufacturers get a hold of it if it were to become a series, they would certainly want it to look more like, you know, what you’re selling on the street. And NASCAR, they kind of, you know, this is sort of—they gave it a bit of a Car of Tomorrow vibe, which won’t serve them very well.”

 

Yeah, it might not look like much, but it’s a total mechanical genius. This setup delivers around 1,341 horsepower to all four Goodyear Racing Eagle tires and regenerative braking is one of the key features. The power train consists of three six-phase motors, one in the front and two in the rear, and combined with a 78kWh liquid-cooled battery. A car that is so quiet that the driver’s sound is louder than its sound—intriguing to say the least! But unlike Dale Earnhardt Jr, who seems mildly interested, Kevin Harvick isn’t into it, at all. 

Kevin Harvick unimpressed with EVs

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Just as we said, a race without noise is new. But not everyone appreciates this. Kevin Harvick in particular is extremely against it. He said, “There’s really nothing about a race car that doesn’t make noise that has any excitement for me.In his podcast, Kevin Harvick Happy Hour, he further shared his thoughts, and let’s just say he didn’t mince his words. Likewise, he promptly blamed manufacturers for pushing NASCAR to go with this EV project. And according to him, that’s why NASCAR ended up finishing the project. 

He said, “But I think that the manufacturers at one point were like ‘Hey, each of us will build three of them, we’ll put on exhibition races.’ And I think when the EV thing went away, the manufacturers were like ‘Hey we’re not going to do that anymore. Thanks, but no thanks.” And he just feels that NASCAR is like the scapegoat, stuck with the car now and will probably do a demonstration with it. Harvick says that the only thing that excited him about the automobile. 

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And Harvick also touched on the fact that while at one moment it looked like EVs were the future, it didn’t end up the way—the revolution didn’t hit. And given that electric vehicles are so expensive, it doesn’t help. Plus, he has a personal reason attached because he did have an EV. He said,I bought an EV. I bought one of those Ford [F-150] Lightnings and I’m like, ‘I just want to see what it’s all about. It’s fun to drive, but it won’t go far. I’m not taking it on a trip.”

He is firmly against EVs and their entering NASCAR is a no-go for him. What do you think about it? Do you believe it can replace the cars at any of the three series?