While the NASCAR Next Gen car has passed all of the important tests that we, the consumers of the racing product like to see, there is a slightly concerning thing that has popped up the last couple of weeks with the new car — driver’s legs going numb.
Las week at Auto Club Speedway, Tyler Reddick, who won Stages 1 and 2 complained that one of his legs was getting the circulation cut off so badly that his leg was going to sleep in the race car.
This week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Aric Almirola complained of the same thing, and Almirola’s complaints, like Reddick’s the week before, actually made their way onto the FOX Sports broadcast.
However, Reddick apparently suffered even worse conditions this week in Las Vegas than he did a week ago in Fontana.
In an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday, Reddick said his Richard Childress Racing team made adjustments to his seat heading into this weekend’s Pennzoil 400, but the adjustments actually made things much worse.
“Unfortunately, going into that race we had to make some decisions to try and change some things. I really felt good about the changes we made. I thought we had fixed it. But unfortunately, in our race, it actually got worse,” Reddick explained. “I had numbness in both of my legs. I didn’t know where the gas pedal was very well, and I could not feel the brake at all. So, actually made it worse, which is not good.”
Reddick says after climbing from the car on Sunday, he was perplexed as not one of his legs, but now both of them had been going numb this weekend in Las Vegas. Reddick says the new design of the cockpit of the Next Gen car is presenting challenges.
“I don’t know, I left the race absolutely dumbfounded,” Reddick stated. “I couldn’t believe it got worse, we made it worse. We’ve been working with some good people. We have a pretty good sense of direction of what we think it could be. It’s a totally new cockpit, the cockpit in this car is deeper because the pedals are floor mounted. There’s a higher false floor. A lot of things have changed, so it’s a little bit easier to get your feet too high or low, not get the blood flow you need.”
For Reddick, things have been okay so far, as a dedicated braking foot wasn’t necessary at Auto Club Speedway or Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but the 26-year old driver says if a fix isn’t found this week, he could be in some real trouble at the tight 1-mile Phoenix Raceway this weekend.
“Hopefully we get it fixed, because I am going to be in lots of trouble if I can’t use my brake pedal or my left foot when we get to Phoenix,” Reddick said.
ICYMI: @TylerReddick offers an update on his leg numbness behind the wheel and tells @DanielleTrotta & @LarryMac28 #SXMOnTrack it was worse this week at @LVMotorSpeedway in the #Pennzoil400 pic.twitter.com/zftlObbkAk
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) March 7, 2022
Reddick, who has been among the fastest at every race this season, including the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum, scored his first top-10 of the season this past weekend at Las Vegas with a seventh-place finish.
The California-native is 18th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings after three races in 2022.