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NASCAR Practice Dilemma: Ty Gibbs and the Call for More Track Time

NASCAR Practice Dilemma: Amidst the limited practice sessions prevalent in NASCAR’s current format, rookie Ty Gibbs in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series felt he was at a disadvantage due to the constrained track time.

Gibbs expressed his thoughts during NASCAR’s awards week in Nashville, emphasizing his desire for more practice. “I would love to have more practice if we could. It only helps me out,” Gibbs stated, highlighting the challenges of transitioning from simulator work to actual track conditions.

Despite Gibbs’ hopes, NASCAR doesn’t plan to extend practice in 2024. The standard remains a 20-minute session, often followed by qualifying for most races. Exceptions are made for tracks with significant changes or repaves and select other venues.

The practice format shifted over the years. NASCAR trimmed sessions from three 50-minute practices to two in 2020. The subsequent years saw a 20-minute format introduced in 2022, citing streamlining technical processes, cost-saving benefits, and broadcasting window alignment.

Opinions among drivers vary. While some desire more practice for fine-tuning setups, others, like Michael McDowell of Front Row Motorsports, find limited practice beneficial. McDowell believes it levels the playing field and aids smaller teams in competitive standings.

Brad Keselowski, co-owner of RFK Racing, acknowledges the value of practice but doesn’t perceive significant cost savings. He sees some merit in it but remains unsure of its overall impact.

Transitioning teams have contrasting views. Tyler Reddick, adjusting to 23XI Racing, found limited practice adequate with a couple of tire tests. He highlighted the necessity of meaningful setup changes to warrant extended practice.

NASCAR Practice Dilemma (1)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driving for a single-car team, voiced contentment with the current 20-minute practice, citing the consistency of car setup across various tracks. He acknowledged the challenges big teams face in exploring diverse setups within a short practice window.

Drivers’ perspectives on practice not only reflect competitive concerns but also prompt considerations for fans’ trackside experiences.

ALSO READ: Expanded NASCAR Practice: Keselowski and #60’s Revival

Our Reader’s Queries

What caused NASCAR decline?

The decline of the sport can be attributed to several factors. The introduction of the Car of Tomorrow was met with criticism from both drivers and fans. The constant tinkering of the rules and the racing itself also contributed to the decline. Additionally, the race day experience has changed, and there is a perceived decline in the quality of the sport. These factors have all played a role in the sport’s decline.

Is race car driving physically demanding?

After analyzing data from various sports, my colleague and I discovered that auto racing has comparable metabolic demands to basketball, soccer, and boxing. The driver’s body requires increased oxygen delivery, which can put a strain on the heart. During races that last for hours, drivers often maintain near-maximal heart rates, which can be quite taxing.

Does NASCAR have practice sessions?

In 2024, NASCAR plans to maintain its 20-minute practice session, with Cup teams divided into two groups at most tracks. This will be followed by qualifying for most races, as per usual.

Has there ever been a NASCAR race without a caution?

Despite the official ban on racing to the yellow in 2003, there have been several instances where races have ended under green despite a last-lap crash. Notable examples include the 2004 Winn Dixie 250 at Daytona, won by Mike Wallace, and the 2015 Alert Today Florida 300, won by Ryan Reed. The 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2019 races also saw similar incidents.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatiahttps://slicksandsticks.com/
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with Slicksandsticks.com, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.
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