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“Continues to Get Worse and Worse”: Hall of Famer Chad Knaus Trashes NASCAR for Short-Track Racing Product

Gowtham Ramalingam

Chad Knaus explains what led to NASCAR tire debacle at Bristol

The latest Cup Series race in Martinsville was yet another show of poor passing opportunities. NASCAR’s new aero package that was supposed to improve the racing experience on short tracks failed to create an impact once again and has forced Hendrick Motorsports icon Chad Knaus to hit out at the promotion for its inefficiency.

Talking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the former crew chief said that different results cannot be expected by doing the same thing over and over again. His frustration stemmed from NASCAR continuing to remove downforce from the car despite that being the core problem for the poor racing product on short tracks. Knaus’ solution? To put the downforce back on the car and let the teams work things out.

“In my opinion, we continue to put downforce off of these cars and the racing continues to get worse and worse,” he said. “I don’t think that’s what we need to be doing. Not gonna be popular by saying this with some folks but from an efficiency standpoint, I think you put the downforce back on the cars, you race them the way they were intended to be raced when the car was initially designed.”

He also said that Goodyear was put in a bad spot since the teams couldn’t work on the chassis owing to minimal vertical load on short tracks. “My vote would be to put some more downforce on the cars, let the guys work on the cars, let them go race… Try to have some discrepancy in the performance of the vehicle,” he concluded.

Does the current short-track package positively demand more from drivers and teams?

In a recent conversation on NBC with Knaus’s former colleague Steve Letarte, veteran Jeff Burton spoke about the advantages of the current short-track package. Despite its issues, Burton believed that it forced the drivers to be on their feet all race weekend long. The difficulties in passing render them to be pitch perfect in qualifying and on the pit road, he voiced.

His words went, “I do think track position is more important than it used to be, there’s no question about that. But what that means is that qualifying is important. Pit stops are important. All the things that you have to do to complete a weekend have become more important with this car.”

With such a large spectrum of sensible opinions flurrying in from every corner of NASCAR, how the promotion will choose to act is a question without an answer.

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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