Is NASCAR too loud? Drivers weigh in after the test at Phoenix Raceway
NASCAR, it’s more than the cars on the track. The sound is an important part of the experience for fans that travel across the country to compete at their track of choice.
But, these are 3+ hours races. Is the sustained noise, too loud?
This week, NASCAR is hosting a a test at the 1-mile oval of Phoenix Raceway in Arizona. The focus of the test is to work on the short track and road course package. It’s a section of the NASCAR package that needed adjustments following lackluster races on those tracks in 2022.
Teams reduced the rear spoiler, by half. They also adjusted the underbody. And after the first day of the test, drivers universally wanted even less of a rear spoiler. For Wednesday’s test, drivers are pushing for NASCAR to completely remove the rear spoiler.
But, another thing NASCAR is testing is mufflers. At the start of the 2022 season, NASCAR launched the Next Gen car. Unlike cars of recent years, exhaust billows out of the left and right side.
With double the noise, is NASCAR too loud? Perhaps. And in the Tuesday portion of the test, NASCAR installed mufflers on the cars in an attempt to reduce the noise levels.
Joey Logano comments
I think they’re nessisary,” Joey Logano told Bob Pockrass off of mufflers.
“Let me tell you why. I’ve heard a lot of really cool cars go done the road with mufflers on it. It’s not about volume, it’s about tone. It’s about the sound.”
“It doesn’t have to hurt for that to be good. NHRA is maybe, really loud, but that’s for 3 seconds. We’re out there for 3 and a half hours.”
“Not just for the drivers, being loud. But for the crew members and especially the fans. I wanna bring my kid to a race. And, my kid, five to two years old, if it’s that loud for that long, they’re not going to enjoy it.”
“I think we can make these cars sound really cool and not hurt at the same time.”
“I had to go to a different ear mold for this past year,” Ross Chastain stated.
“Because the ones I had would not seal good enough. I needed something that cut out more noise. I was able to go find it.”
“Especially because it’s out the left side. I’ve never raced anything with exhaust out the left side.”
“It hurt. It was just too loud. I had to turn the radios all the way up.”
Keslowski added, “There’s always an age old debate in NASCAR of, ‘How loud should the cars be?'”
“Right now, the cars are as loud or louder than they’ve ever been. A significant amount louder than they were with the Gen 6 car.”
“I don’t envy NASCAR because I think there’s a lot of division in the industry and amungst its fans on what the answer is.”
“We’ve seen this road in motorsports, at least a little bit, with Formula One when they went to their quieter cars close to 10 years ago now,” Erik Jones added.
“The fan reaction probably wasn’t the greatest. I don’t mind a loud car. These ones are, very loud compared to our predecessor. I like it. I think it’s part of the racing, part of the experience at the track.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
“I’ve raced dirt cars with mufflers on, mufflers off,” Ricky Stenhouse Jr commented.
“Of course, they sound a lot better with they off. — If it makes it better for the fans. I know that’s one thing that the fans have been asking for is a little bit quieter. So, you can talk to each other a little bit better in the stands.”
“If it works, that will be cool.”