After the introduction of the Next Gen car resulted in multiple flat tire issues for racers, a NASCAR spokesperson revealed that they’re working on “adjustments.” The flat tires themselves aren’t the problem. It’s common enough for drivers to spin out or puncture a tire another way. The problem lies with the design of the new Next Gen cars. They sit lower than Gen 6 cars, have a diffuser underneath, and use larger wheels.
So, whenever a tire blows out, the car struggles to make it back to pit road for a replacement. And even when the tow truck steps in, it drags the car in a way that damages the underbody.
At a Glance
- NASCAR spoke out on the issues flat tires present for the Next Gen cars.
- The organization is looking to make short term “adjustments” to the cars.
- Former NASCAR champions Kyle Busch and Joey Logano address the situation.
NASCAR’s Stance on the Flat Tire Issue With Next Gen Cars
Earlier this week, NASCAR VP of Officiating and Technical Inspection Elton Sawyer released a statement. Sawyer addressed the concerns of drivers (and viewers) when it came to the Next Gen cars not holding up well with flat tires.
“There’s ongoing conversations in meetings to be able to get to a better place on that,” Sawyer said in a video on the NASCAR website. “We made an adjustment last week at Auto Club Speedway to lead the drivers in and get them back to pit road. Our goal is not to put drivers out of the race. That’s not what we want.”
He added, “We want our stars to be able to perform. It’s just some learnings and we felt that we got to a decent place on Sunday to not let that be a storyline.”
On Sunday, the Pennzoil 400 took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Alex Bowman won the competition despite fierce competitors like Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch.
“We’ll continue to evaluate that,” Sawyer continued. “I know John Probst and his staff are looking at what adjustments we can make in the short term and something that would alleviate some of those issues.”
John Probst is the Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development at NASCAR. Neither he nor Sawyer commented on which adjustments, exactly, they’d be making. It could be to the cars themselves, or the process of getting the Next Gen cars to the pit.
Former NASCAR Champs Weigh In
But in a press conference leading up to yesterday’s Pennzoil race, former NASCAR champions Kyle Busch and Joey Logano offered some suggestions.
“My solution is to get a AAA truck to go out there and change your tires instead of towing the thing in and scraping the underbody off of it,” Logano joked. “My crutch fix is to go out there and put some kind of tire on it so you can get back to pit road and have your pit crew put your set back on so you can go.”
Busch added, “Some guys have come across the idea of maybe raising the ride heights to get more ground clearance so that when the cars are in their natural state they will be higher so they’re not stuck on the blocks. I think one of the other things, these cars want to be so low to the ground because the rear diffuser is so important to get it to the ground to create your rear downforce.”