Should NASCAR amend the damaged car policy?

Should NASCAR Change Its Damaged Vehicle Policy?

Luken Glover: DVP has been effective in doing its job so far. It’s not perfect, so yes, some tweaks are needed. As mentioned, the driver’s DVP watch should start when they reach the trunk, not when they enter the ditch road. I also agree that the clock needs to be reset to 10 minutes. We’ve seen cars that are able to meet the minimum speed limit and still have the chance to earn valuable points that fail to meet the DVP, while others that work in rolling litter boxes have managed to hit the right track. At the same time, the DVP Watch challenges teams to showcase their skills and do effective work. Bubba Wallace’s crew failed to recognize the watch, so that was a mistake from the crew’s perspective. However, the DVP can be improved and continue to serve its purpose in an effective manner.

Brad Harrison: Certainly more flexibility and a margin of error is needed to give teams more time – see Wallace’s team’s apparent error in estimating the DVP hour as an example. The intent is obviously that the lower-powered car doesn’t raise the leaders, but the current threshold might give someone an electric chair to steal a pack of gum from the gas station. There is no reason to cancel the DVP policy, but it needs to be modified.

Josh Roller: NASCAR’s Damaged Vehicle Policy needs adjusting, that’s for sure. Really, it’s just a small change. Teams need more time on the pit road, so the time must be increased and the clock should only run when the car has broken box level or when the car is parked. The time should be increased to 10 minutes. These cars are new and their parts are rare. Chase Elliott’s damage shouldn’t lead to retirement because his team could have fixed it but there simply wasn’t enough time to fix a piece so weak compared to years past. In the event that Wallace didn’t make the minimum speed, that part shouldn’t be changed because they were just providing a set of tires, not actually trying to make the speed. This is on them. Teams and NASCAR know what a repaired car should look like, and given enough time, the car will look better on its first attempt at minimum speed.

What have you read so far about Ty Dillon’s first season in the NASCAR Cup Series for Petty GMS Motorsports? Is 26th in points good enough, or is Dillon on the hot seat?

Anthony Damcott: The entire operation of Petty GMS is a new endeavor for every interested party. It’s new for Richard Petty Motorsports, GMS Racing, Dillon, and even Jones. Dillon hasn’t been in a Cup car since Germain Racing closed at the end of 2020. GMS has never offered a Cup car, while Richard Petty Motorsports hasn’t integrated with a team in over a decade. Oh, and by the way, this is all with a brand new car that matches the ballpark a bit. So given all of these mitigating factors, Ty Dillon and Team #42 are doing quite well. The results didn’t show exactly how well Dillon did. He ran the top five for the majority of the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway before dropping back to 10th. He’s had several good runs derailed by problems that were beyond his control but still only has three times outside the top 25 (and two of those, 36 and 33, were the result of being in a crash). Dillon certainly didn’t run to the record level like other teams with a brand-new second car, like Trackhouse Racing Team or 23XI Racing, but he’s only 96 points short of the max in qualifying, and he currently has more points than other full-timers. Drivers like Cole Caster, Harrison Burton, and most notably Brad Keselowski. For a first-year endeavor full of unknowns and new experiences, I’d call this a win so far in the season.

Glover: Dillon’s stats don’t reflect the kind of consistency he’s had. In 14 races, Dillon had nine top 20 runs, as well as a top 10 finish. In his last full-time season with Germain, he scored 14 such matches. Sure, he doesn’t have the speed of fellow Jones; However, Jones is familiar with this team. Dillon returns after the 2021 season in which he did not participate full-time at the cup level, and did not start many national series. Petty GMS is technically a new team, and the petty side of the organization hasn’t had two cars since 2015. At the Coca-Cola 600, the Dillon was the only car that didn’t experience any accidents while racing. He’s proven to take good care of the gear this year as well as creating a solid foundation for this new set.

Harrison: Unless things are in a state of catastrophe, I’m thinking you really need three years to have a good opportunity to connect with a new team, crew chief, etc. In a situation like Dillon, where the team is new, the prediction should be above 25, and the rest is a bonus.

What is one schedule change NASCAR should be making for the next year?

Harrison: Since the hay is out of the fold over the championship race being the first week of November at Phoenix Raceway, I can’t bring up mixing up a midweek race or so to shorten the season. NASCAR shouldn’t pull the racing plug on dirt, but it should find a midweek slot to race on a real dirt track like the Knoxville racetrack and bring Bristol Motor Speedway back the way it should be: on concrete. And while we’re into the midweek races — if NASCAR wants to try new things on the schedule, it should go one step further and add some midweek events to build in some weeks as the season goes on.

cylinder: This is a change centered around the Kansas Speedway. If NASCAR doesn’t want a Kansas Speedway “Super Weekend” race, which features the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and an Xfinity race with two Cup Series races, then one of its Kansas dates should go to Iowa Speedway. It amazes me why Iowa will only host ARCA and the NTT IndyCar series in 2022. At least the Trucks and Xfinity should get an independent race in Iowa. But NASCAR should move one of the dates of the Kansas Cup Series to Iowa. Attending last month’s race was awful and moving to Iowa was a much better idea than a course on the streets of Chicago. Maybe even collect a double header from IndyCar-NASCAR if Roger Penske is going to be on another double header on the calendar.

Damcot: I have a lot of ideas, but if I had to pick one thing, I’d like to see more independent racing for the Xfinity and trucks. It’s always been great to see packed booths for a second- or third-tier series, and because of that, it gives young drivers the chance to be exposed. Independent racing is also fun because it usually means that the Series is racing on circuits that the Cup Series does not. I’d like to see Xfinity return to the Milwaukee Mile or Mexico City. Likewise, a return to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park or an independent weekend at a track like the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for trucks might be a great addition to the schedule. Either way, I’m personally a huge fan of independent racing, and I think it’s great, so that would be my wish for NASCAR to change the schedule for 2023.

Portland International Raceway is the only independent Xfinity Series race of the season. Who is the driver who benefits the most from it?

Glover: Kaulig Racing overall has a solid chance this weekend. AJ Allmendinger is looking to consolidate his lead by 33 points over Noah Gragson for the points lead in the regular season. Both Daniel Hemrick and Landon Cassel are seeing positive shifts in their seasons, and they need good spins to put a cushion between them and the cut streak. While road courses can be prone to parity, Conor Mossack is probably the biggest threat from a non-points-based driver’s perspective. Heimrick and Kassel have struggled to beat the no-show contenders with good equipment this season. With no regular cup players or round shooters other than Mosack in solid gear, this could be their chance to cash in on more points. Hemric has proven himself to be competitive on the road courses, so this may be his best opportunity in the coming weeks to increase his advantage.

Harrison: You really have to go with Andy Lally, here. As we saw last year, he got the most out of his gear and was able to be a factor. On the new track – for these drivers, at least – road racing prowess is a huge advantage, and Lally owns it.

cylinder: Allmendinger simply because he is the king of the road track in the Xfinity series and with no regular players in the Cup series like Kyle Busch or Tyler Riddick, he will have a cleaner path to victory. Kaulig simply struggles to find that last speed to beat the ovals and the Allmendinger tops the overall points. Chasing and winning the regular season championship will pay off in the playoffs for the Allmendinger, especially if it takes most of the summer to regain oval speed. Therefore, road track racing will be pivotal to everyone’s favorite CART-to-NASCAR driver. Oh, and he won in Portland at CART back in 2006.

Damcot: My mind immediately turned to Mosack at No. 18 at Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18. He’s seen a huge success in Trans-Am, and although he only started his car buying endeavors this season, he quickly landed a great opportunity with a top team in the series NASCAR Class II (Life changes a lot in 6 months, right?). If he ran well, or even won the race, especially with JGR’s top-tier equipment, it could open the door to more opportunities in motorsports, even if it’s not the Xfinity series. He could become a future NASCAR star with this one race. OK, this might be just a little jump-start, but who knows? This start could do wonders for Mossack if he had any visions of pursuing a career in the auto industry.

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