Skip to content

Evernham mixed on NASCAR’s efforts to help Gen-6 race better

Nov 27, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

Ford 400 Qualifying Getty Images

When it comes to NASCAR’s attempts to improve the racing on its intermediate ovals with the new Gen-6 car, three-time Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham sees some things that he likes. He also sees some things that he doesn’t like.

Evernham, who now works as a NASCAR television analyst, called into Performance Racing Network’s “Fast Talk” earlier this week, where he gave his thoughts on the matter to host Doug Rice and former Cup driver Kyle Petty.

On the positive side of things, Evernham liked the fact that the sanctioning body is experimenting with not having a minimum ride height requirement in place on the cars – which he believes would allow more tailoring to a driver’s specific style.

“I’ve never agreed with having to hold all those heights the same because then, you’re limited to the springs, shocks, and bump stops, and not everybody likes to drive a car the same way,” he explained.

“These cars are so [aerodynamically] dependent right now that how it gets to that perfect height has really got a lot to do with driver feel, that transitional handling.”

But he also cautioned NASCAR not to add more aerodynamic pieces to the Gen-6 such as bigger spoilers.

“I really feel that we need to be going the other way,” he said. “The drivers will yell and scream and I’ve already made ’em mad at me when I’ve said that, but they need to take as much aero off the car as they can and let ’em go back to running a softer tire…I just feel like when we get so aero-dependent, it hurts our racing.”

After running through possible aero changes back in mid-October at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR will return to the 1.5-mile oval on Dec. 9 for further testing that could finalize its 2014 intermediate package.

As for Petty’s thoughts on the test, they weren’t quite as in-depth as Evernham’s but he made the observation that the good races in Sprint Cup have been coming not from the 1.5-milers, but from restrictor-plate tracks, road courses, and short ovals.

“That’s what the heart and soul of the sport is – those intermediate tracks, the mile-and-a-half tracks,” he said. “And it’s funny, because that’s where we used to have some of the greatest racing that the sport had.

“It’s gravitated and moved to the edges – Talladega and Daytona on one side, road courses on the other side and Bristol and Martinsville right in there. Those are our better races now.”

Latest Posts
  1. WSR: Vaxiviere wins opening race at Spa-Francorchamps

    May 30, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    © Renault Sport © Renault Sport

    The Lotus driver wins at Spa with a brave overtake around the outside of Pouhons.

  2. Rahal, Kimball out early in Detroit

    May 30, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Separate incidents take Rahal and Kimball out of the race in Detroit.

  3. Action Express wins; safety worker taken to hospital in TUDOR race at Detroit

    May 30, 2015, 4:11 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Cameron, Curran win but a post-checkered flag accident emerges as story.

  4. Tost and Horner uneasy about possible F1 tire war

    May 30, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Previews Getty Images

    F1 team principals issue their concern about the possibility of a tire war between Pirelli and Michelin in the future.

  5. Toro Rosso drivers expecting challenging Canadian GP

    May 30, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Sainz and Verstappen ready for their first races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

  6. Hangover? How Indy 500 winners have fared in their follow-up races

    May 30, 2015, 2:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Hunter-Reay Ryan Hunter-Reay

    How Indianapolis 500 champions have done in their next race since 2000.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Eli Tomac goes for third straight Pro Motocross win at Thunder Valley (2 p.m. ET, Live Extra)

    May 30, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Photo: Chris Ortiz/ProMotocross.com Photo: Chris Ortiz/ProMotocross.com

    Live coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with the pre-race show and continues at 3 p.m. ET with all four motos.

  8. Le Mans: Nakajima cleared to take part in test day

    May 30, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Driver Kazuki Nakajima of Japan and Toyota Racing during the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone race at Silverstone on April 12, 2015 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Japanese driver will return to the wheel of the Toyota LMP1 car on Sunday.

  9. The week that was for Juan Pablo Montoya

    May 30, 2015, 12:56 PM EDT

    Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya

    The days following Montoya’s second Indianapolis 500 were both “really cool” and “hell” at once.

  10. Maldonado remains confident of points following tough start to 2015

    May 30, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

    xxxx during previews to the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 20, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    He may sit bottom of the drivers’ championship, but Maldonado remains upbeat ahead of next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

  11. Max Verstappen drives his father, Jos, mad around the streets of Monaco (VIDEO)

    May 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    xxxx during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    He may only be 17, but Max can still give his father a scare behind the wheel of a road car.

  12. GRC Lites’ class of 2015 look to stand out

    May 30, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo: Tony DiZinno Photo: Tony DiZinno

    We caught up with a few of the GRC Lites drivers before their season kicks off.

  13. Mallya joins call for more autocratic rule of Formula 1

    May 30, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    Force India team owner claims F1 has become too democratic in letting some of the teams have a say.

  14. Grosjean annoyed by Monaco crash accusations

    May 29, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    xxxx during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 21, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    Frenchman hopes to bounce back in Canada next weekend after finishing outside of the points in Monaco.

  15. Power wins Verizon P1 Award in Detroit with new track record

    May 29, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Will Power and Helio Castroneves complete the front row for first of two IndyCar races in Detroit.

  16. Sainz shares video of near-miss with Ericsson from Monaco

    May 29, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Sainz went on to finish the race in tenth place, but it all very nearly ended far earlier in Monaco last Sunday.

  17. Formula E: Garcia replaces Pic for Moscow ePrix

    May 29, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    A Formula E China Racing Antonio Garcia powers his car during the first pratice session in Punta del Este, Uruguay on December 13, 2014. Uruguay will host the third race of the inaugural Formula-E electric car race championship on December 13.  AFP PHOTO / PABLO PORCIUNCULA        (Photo credit should read PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    GT racer returns after making his Formula E debut in Uruguay at the end of 2014.

  18. Big weekend for Brembo on Belle Isle

    May 29, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

    Photo: Brembo Photo: Brembo

    Brembo busy with IndyCar, TUDOR and World Challenge this weekend.

  19. Boullier: Monaco points just the beginning for McLaren

    May 29, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    The team racing director refuses to get too excited about Jenson Button’s eighth-place finish in Monaco, saying it is just the start of something far bigger.