Kyle Larson walked away from the 2021 NASCAR season with 10 wins and the Cup Series championship. This year, however, Larson’s luck appears to have plummeted. With seven Cup Series races behind us, Kyle Larson holds only one win – and several disastrous Sundays. In an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports crew chief, Cliff Daniels, went on a bit of rant about his driver’s unfortunate experiences in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season thus far.
What to Know:
- Kyle Larson’s 2022 Cup Series season has been a mixed bag
- In a recent interview, Kyle Larson’s crew chief expressed frustrations with the season
- The No. 5 crew chief blamed equipment and unfair NASCAR penalties
No. 5 Crew Chief Cliff Daniels Talks Insufficient Equipment
Daniels doesn’t blame Larson for the bad luck streak. Instead, he believes that their team’s problems stem from inadequate equipment on the Next Gen stock cars.
Always. pic.twitter.com/7iSEhRuNNn— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 24, 2021
“I hate that I’m going to have to say it,” the No. 5 crew chief began. “But it’s the truth. The razor-thin line that we’re on right now from having a fast pit stop and having a potential issue is smaller than it has ever been. And believe it or not, there is more complexity and nuance in the single-lug pit stop than there was in the five-lug pit stop. I know that’s really hard to believe. But a lot of it does boil down to limitations that we have with the current pit gun.”
“A few things that I’m going to say are inadequate with the safety mechanisms that are supposed to keep the wheel nut from falling off that I don’t believe you can blame the teams, and the tire changers, the pit performers every single time for what we’ve seen this year. I would say that NASCAR needs to step up, and NASCAR needs to improve the pit guns. NASCAR needs to improve the stuff that we’re using.”
Kyle Larson’s Crew Chief Believes NASCAR Penalties ‘Don’t Make Sense’
In crew chief Cliff Daniels’ mind, the deficient equipment is just the start of the struggles faced by Kyle Larson and other Cup Series drivers. He agrees that safety issues should be a concern. However, Daniels believes that the stiff punishments NASCAR passes down for Rule Book violations are ludicrous.
“And the other thing that is really kind of mind-blowing is the penalties that they give out,” Kyle Larson’s crew chief said. “It was already very very difficult to do for a pit stop and we have really handpicked guys that have been brought up through our systems that are so trained. And we’re trying to make them experts in their area.”
“If something fails or something doesn’t go according to plan, and a wheel, heaven forbid, comes off, which we all agree is a massive safety issue,” Daniels continued. “We’re then going to make it an even bigger safety issue the next time that team comes to the track. We’re going to suspend two of those guys for four weeks that are the best experts that that team has at the time to put on their car.”
“So we’re going to go ahead and put them on the sidelines for four weeks. And we’re going to bring in two guys that are less experienced to go pit the car and do the same thing. So that in itself just doesn’t make sense.”