Parts malfunctions were the story that surfaced over the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, which led to strong comments from Martin Truex Jr and other drivers. Now NASCAR officials have responded.
Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on September 22 and tackled multiple topics. He said NASCAR has met with representatives from Goodyear to discuss tire issues. Miller then noted that they were still learning about next-generation cars while responding directly to Truex and Kevin Harvick referring to some of the “bad parts”.
“Bristol is definitely a unique case of loading, and some things came up with routing that wasn’t expected,” Miller said. Courtesy copy of NASCAR Media. “But honestly, no excuse, but, you know, with the newness of this car and the newness of everything, I think it’s not okay to have problems, but it’s probably part of the learning process for all of us.
“All the teams and OEMs were involved in the RFP (Request for Proposal) process when we picked the parts, so everyone got a stake in this, and it’s not just NASCAR who picks the bad, unquoted parts.”
Two issues have disrupted the past three Truex races
The season wasn’t particularly enjoyable for Truex. He’s been statistically solid with 13 again in the top 10 and four in the top five, but he hasn’t taken any wins for several reasons.
The past three races, in particular, have led to DNFs. Truex was in prime position to win at Darlington Raceway and add Crown Jewel to his group, but a water pump issue ended his day. Two weeks later, a power steering problem ended his day at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Yes, I blew the seal and pushed all the fluid on the right front tire,” Truex told NBC Sports after his early Bristol race exit. “Just incredible. what [Kevin] Harvick says? Bad parts. “
The “bad parts” comments refer to an interview Harvick gave after a fire that ended his race in Darlington. The driver of Car #4 said the “bad parts” caused the fire, and made clear comments about the next generation era.
“I’m sure it’s just bad parts in the race car as we’ve seen them so many times,” Harvick told NBC Sports. “We haven’t fixed anything. It’s kind of like safety items. We let it go on and on.”
“What a disaster, man,” Harvick added. “No reason. We didn’t touch the wall, we didn’t touch the car, and here we are in a pit with a burning car, we can’t finish the race during qualifying because of bad **parts.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had different takeaways
Tire failures and mechanical issues weren’t ideal for the teams, drivers or NASCAR. They created a different story other than the fights that take place on the short track. However, one analyst saw some positives in the situation.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. provided a point of view during September 21 episode From his podcast, “Download The Dale Jr.” He explained that there was not a lot of movement on the track, especially with the tires not falling off. He specifically mentioned that the larger, wider tires and “IMSA-style setup” for the Cup Series cars were a poor choice.
“Unfortunately, like these tire problems we had in the Cup race – related to air pressure, camber and wheel settings – this is not a Goodyear problem,” Earnhardt said. “Those things and rack issues, that saved the race. If we didn’t have those problems – as ugly as they were. They are also a point of criticism. If they didn’t it would have been hard to sell.”
“You know, if I fix the racks, and we don’t have rack and pinion issues, and the teams come back and understand a little bit better the settings that won’t blow out the right front tire, then I have a problem. Then we have a race where everyone is running at the same speed and no one can turn around on each other because they are all the same.”
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