Driver Denny Hamlin (in the No. 11 car) was fined $25,000 by NASCAR for his criticism of the new Generation 6 car and its weakness in it passing abilities. (AFP)
NASCAR has a lot invested — a couple of years in research and development and millions in promotion — in the new Generation 6 race car it unveiled at the Daytona 500 last month.
Now, after fining Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin $25,000 this week for his criticism of the car, it appears NASCAR didn’t invest enough in its own credibility.
A bit of background is in order.
The big three NASCAR auto manufacturers — Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford — have fought for years to have the cars on the Sprint Cup grid look like the cars they sell on the showroom floor at their dealerships.
Finally, after six seasons of the ugly sameness of their Generation 5 car — better knows as the (ill advised) Car of Tomorrow — NASCAR figured it had succeeded in introducing a race car that was nice to look at and would be better on the track.