Denny Hamlin Photo Credit: SpeedFreaks on Twitter/X Photo Credit: SpeedFreaks on Twitter/X

Everyone agrees NASCAR has a problem right now with its short track races.

NASCAR veteran Denny Hamlin has an interesting solution — bring in Dale Earnhardt Jr. as a special test consultant.

Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway drew the wrath of drivers and fans for its lack of passing, a frequent complaint at short tracks since the Next Gen car debuted in 2022. Even NASCAR’s senior VP of competition, Elton Sawyer, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday, “We, as NASCAR, want our short track package to be better.”

The problem involves tire wear. The tires used at Martinsville had a minimal decline in performance during runs. That negates a driver’s skill at driving with worn tires and makes passing more difficult.

On Monday’s Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin podcast, Hamlin proposed bringing in Earnhardt to help test tires.

“We will never ******* pass. Never,” Hamlin said, addressing the tires used Sunday. “It just keeps getting worse … the left-side tires — don’t even get me started. Goodyear is so far off on left-side tires. I have a solution that I think will fix it.

“NASCAR has their own Next Gen car, one they originally started with. You need to get NASCAR and their team. … Get Dale Jr., and get ’em to go to Richmond, and get ’em to go to Martinsville, and test tires. He gets to pick out the tire that we run. It would be great publicity, this is Dale Jr.’s tire, let’s see how it does. I think he would sign up in two seconds to go out there.

“He’s angry about the tires as much as I am,” Hamlin said. “We clearly are missing the mark.”

Earnhardt Jr. who retired from full-time competition in 2017, served as an analyst with NBC Sports through the end of the 2023 season. He’s sitting out this year but is joining Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery as an analyst for their race coverage in 2025.

[Photo/Video Credit: SpeedFreaks on Twitter/X]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.