Larson Believes Rearview Cameras Assist in Next Gen Aero-Blocking

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

While Kyle Larson was hunting down race leader Denny Hamlin in the closing laps of Sunday’s Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway, there seemed to be two things between him and a second victory of 2024: Hamlin and dirty air.

And while Larson got to the bumper of Hamlin with less than 10 laps to go, the wake of aero-blocking was too much to overcome.

“This racing, it’s really hard to pass the lead car,” Larson said. “With this car, it’s so easy to aero-block.”

One reason that aero-blocking comes with ease in the Next Gen car is due to the rearview cameras, Larson said.

“Honestly, if they took the cameras out of the car, that’s probably one of the little things that could fix it,” he said. “It’s hard to see out of the rearview mirrors, but the cameras are so easy.

“I would be for it if they took the cameras out. When I was leading when [Alex] Bowman was behind me, I’m literally just staring at my camera. When he turns right, I’m turning right, when he pulls down, I’m pulling down.

“When you have the have the mirror, you can’t really see that well. It’s a tool and we’re all using it really well. I don’t know if he runs the camera, he probably does and it’s really easy.”

Hamlin stated after the race that he did not rely heavily on the camera during the battle.

Losing the race off pit road late in the race’s final stage, Larson knew it was tricky business to overtake Hamlin’s No. 11. And though Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet closed the gap to less than a car length, the wake trailing Hamlin was more than enough to yield him to the checkered flag.

“There was one time when he was finally moving up and I was moving further up to drag him up the racetrack,” he said. “I thought maybe I could catch him off guard and shoot to the bottom.

“I knew I was gonna fight an uphill battle once I lost the lead there [off pit road].

“The way my car was, I knew I was gonna time out to get close to [Hamlin]. That’s kinda what happened, I started moving around and I knew once I got within three [tenths], he was just gonna start moving around and shutting my air off.”

Despite having his advantage tighten, Hamlin was able to defend Larson’s charge from the middle lane.

“He did a good job. It’s not like he did anything special to win, as far as air blocking,” he said. “He executed some really good restarts. It’s not hard to air block in these cars.

“You see it at a lot of places with the Next Gen car. It makes executing that much more important. Good pit stops, good restarts, all the details, to get yourself in the lead and play some defense.”

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