Dale Earnhardt Jr. holds a tremendous passion for NASCAR that hasn’t waned in retirement. Earnhardt Jr. has only used his platform to a greater extent to talk about the sport in many capacities. One of those being his absolute disdain for the large spoilers on the cars.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s prominent presence around NASCAR
When Dale Earnhardt Jr. stepped into retirement, his time behind the wheel ended, but not his presence around the sport.
Earnhardt Jr. has kept a firm grasp of NASCAR’s daily workings through his weekly podcast and his broadcast duties with NBC Sports. All that, along with his use of social media, has maintained his prevalent voice.
It has also given him the platform to air his feelings on any matter involving NASCAR, which has seen him continue to bash the use of large spoilers.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a problem with NASCAR’s affinity for ‘giant a** spoilers’
Over the years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been quite vocal concerning any discussion around NASCAR.
One matter that has bothered him over the last couple of seasons has been spoilers. In 2019, NASCAR increased the size of the spoiler to get more downforce on the car to create lower-to-the-ground driving.
It also leads to more grip on the tires, creating better handling for the drivers and better speeds into corners. However, Earnhardt Jr. only sees a more significant problem arising, pointing to Ryan Newman’s scary crash at the 2020 Daytona 500.
Dale Jr. believes that Newman had done what he needed to do with Ryan Blaney behind him on the final lap. He voiced on the Dale Jr. Download podcast that he felt that the bigger spoilers allow trailing cars to move faster and are easier to handle.
“[All the blocking we see in the races] is because of the giant spoiler on the car,” Earnhardt said. “I’m sorry. The spoiler creates such big runs from the guys behind them. The runs are so plentiful. The runs are so aggressive. The ability to push and shove because of the wake of the spoiler. You’re just running over the leader, really, and he’s doing everything he can to keep you behind him.”
Months before Newman’s crash, Earnhardt Jr. voiced his dislike for the car attachment during a broadcast of the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2019 calling them “Giant a** spoilers.”
Ultimately, it’s a problem that Earnhardt believes NASCAR needs to address to help push the sport forward.
NASCAR will remain the course with spoilers
NASCAR has fully embraced utilizing the larger spoilers for aerodynamic purposes.
There are benefits of using the attachment but also some clear disadvantages that come with it. NASCAR did remove the use of spoilers on the road courses and short tracks where drafting isn’t a prominent factor.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will continue to bring attention to the matter as long as the sport uses it. The stock car attachment has created more entertaining and aggressive finishes, but there will be those such as Dale Jr. with their disdain toward big spoilers. (H/T Business Insider)
“I’m not a big fan of the spoiler, the aesthetics of it,” Earnhardt said. “It’s just not fun to look at, and I can’t imagine being in a car and having to stare at that thing the entire race. It would just make me grind my teeth out of my head.”