Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/15/14

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: Denny Hamlin (L), driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, talks with teammate Joey Logano (R), driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2009 in Avondale, AZ. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
After last week’s race at Phoenix, many fans and drivers left the track wondering if the new “Generation 6” car was a good idea or not. The most vocal was driver Denny Hamlin, who was slapped with a $25,000 fine for his post-race comments. In Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the reaction was completely different by some of the drivers. “My car drove good.  I felt like I could pass, I could race underneath the car, do things that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to do in the past.  First time on a mile and a half with this new Gen-6 car, and I would say to have the same tires — this is the same tire, also, which we didn’t have last week, which was a big part of the Phoenix deal. I think the car itself today was — I had a lot of fun driving it, and I thought it was a heck of a race.  I got to race through cars, traffic and battle for the lead four, five, six times.  I felt really confident with our Chevy SS,” said second place finisher Kasey Kahne. “I loved it.  It was so much fun.  We were moving all over the race track,” commented seventh place Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Brad Keselowski explained how the air off the cars caused for added pressure on the drivers to have good restarts. “As it pertains to restarts and you get two cars next to each other which creates this giant bubble which effectively takes the air off of one of the cars.  That means that the two cars that are up front are really stealing each other’s air back and forth and making it really hard to race, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that puts everyone in a precarious position and really puts you, where the restarts become so important,” he said. Keselowski finished in third place. Daytona was not a good showing of the new cars because of the draft just being a crap shoot for teams and drivers. Phoenix was a step backwards because of the series coming in with a brand new tire that many teams were too aggressive with. Las Vegas was finally a race where there was no variable except for the car. No draft, no new tire, so the teams and drivers could go out and race with a bit of a baseline. And I think that really showed in a race that was fast paced and the drivers enjoyed racing. Did anyone get a quote from Denny Hamlin after this race?

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