NASCAR Star Apparently Warned Officials New Car Was Unsafe Months Before Two Drivers Suffer Concussions

The safety of the new NASCAR Next Gen cars continues to come under fire after another driver – Alex Bowman – announced this week that he would miss Sunday’s race at Talladega with a concussion. It’s also an issue Denny Hamlin apparently saw coming months ago.

More on that in a bit.

Let’s start with Bowman, who is the second NASCAR driver in three months to miss time with a concussion.

Former Cup champion Kurt Busch has been out since July after a hard crash at Pocono sidelined him for the rest of the regular season.

“After undergoing medical evaluation due to concussion-like symptoms, I will not be driving the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet in Talladega,” Bowman said. “I’m disappointed but know my health is the number one priority.”

Bowman hit the hard Sunday at Texas, but was able to finish the race 29th – five laps down to winner Tyler Reddick.

After the race, Bowman said it was the “hardest I’ve crashed anything in my life.”

NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. critical of safety of new car

Bowman was one of several drivers to experience tires issues at Texas, and is just the latest driver to put NASCAR under a microscope for the new Next Gen cars.

Kevin Harvick has been critical of the sport for weeks now after his car mysteriously caught fire in the middle of a race, while Martin Truex Jr. called out NASCAR for ‘bullsh*t’ parts after Texas.

Truex Jr., if you couldn’t tell, was one of those drivers who ended up on a tow-truck with a blown tire.

Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson have also spoken up in recent weeks, with Elliott – NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver – chiming in on Twitter.

The two most outspoken about the new car have been Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin – two elder statesman in the sport who don’t sugarcoat anything.

Harvick torched the sport last month after nearly getting fried at Darlington.

“I’m sure it’s just crappy parts on the race car like we’ve seen so many times,” he said after the incident. “They haven’t fixed anything. It’s kind of like the safety stuff. We just let it keep going and keep going. The car started burning and as it burned the flames started coming through the dash.”

NASCAR driver Alex Bowman is the latest to suffer a concussion.
Alex Bowman is the latest NASCAR driver to suffer a concussion. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin warned NASCAR about new car before season

Hamlin, meanwhile, apparently warned NASCAR Execs before this year that there were major flaws with the new car’s design.

While Bowman has so far held back, don’t be surprised if more continues to come out – especially if missing Sunday’s race ultimately eliminates him from the postseason.

Bowman is currently in last place in the 12-driver playoff field, 26 points below the cutline, and will likely face a must-win situation next weekend at the Charlotte Roval if he is able to return in time.

According to a NASCAR spokesperson, Hendrick Motorsports’ request for a postseason waiver enabling Bowman to remain eligible for the Round of 8 has been granted.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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