Driving a racecar at around 200-miles per hour always presents plenty of challenges. That is no different when racing in a draft. The drafting tracks in NASCAR are Daytona, Talladega and Atlanta.
All three produce exciting racing, but also have become very challenging on drivers with the Next Gen car. Throw skill out the window these days, as the best superspeedway drivers aren't the same.
Joey Logano has long been a driver to keep an eye on when it comes to the superspeedways, having won a Daytona 500, and several races at Talladega. However, those wins all came well before the Next Gen car. In fact, Logano hasn't won at Daytona or Talladega since 2018.
It hasn't been for a lack of trying on Logano's part, as he has led plenty of laps at those tracks since then, but strategy has played a major role in his failure to find victory lane.
That was true even before the Next Gen car, as Logano addressed the struggles at drafting tracks the car has presented since the series began using it in 2022.
Logano spoke on his weekly segment on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio and discussed the change on drafting tracks with the Next Gen car.
?? ?I literally came off pit road after one of the stages in the lead and was like ?shoot, this isn?t exactly where I wanna be.? Where else does it go like that?? #NASCAR@joeylogano discusses how the strategy has changed on drafting tracks with the Next Gen car ???? pic.twitter.com/b9el3Rm7LI
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) October 3, 2023
"It's not a secret so I can talk about it, the whole field is doing it at this point. Everybody goes out there and tries to save fuel the first part of the stage to make their pit stop shorter ... If the whole field is one second apart ... and you can save a second and a half of fuel time by saving gas and running in the middle of the pack, you're going to make up all the time on the pitstop, and you're going to cycle yourself ahead after the pitstop and then you go race. It's like a ... it's really odd, you're out there like I don't want to go too fast, and I don't want to burn up all my fuel, but I kind of want to keep my track position ... It's a really odd way to race, and it's a lot different than the way it used to be from that standpoint."
Everyone is saving fuel by running mid-pack and short pitting now, so it only makes things that much more difficult, according to Logano. He recently experienced the oddity and jokingly wanted to know if it's a problem at tracks other than Daytona or Talladega.
"I literally came off pit road after one of the stages in the lead and was like 'Shoot, this isn't exactly where I wanna be.' Where else does it go like that?" Logano said.
With so much to think about while racing on superspeedways, it's no wonder they are so unpredictable, especially after the Next Gen car's introduction to NASCAR.
Logano has had a car worthy of winning these kinds of races, but for whatever reason, he's always falling a little short of victory lane.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.