Carl Edwards became one of the few drivers to openly criticize NASCAR's current model Sprint Cup Series car this season after finishing fifth at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
Drivers have been discouraged from publicly commenting about the car since NASCAR presented evidence to the drivers last year that fan opinion about the racing reflects driver comments in the media.
Instead of saying something negative about the car's dependence on clean air, most drivers simply say "track position is so important" – which is what Edwards said at first, but then followed up with comments about the new Cup car that will race in 2013.
"Sadly, downforce is such a big factor in these (current) cars, and I am really hoping NASCAR will take the opportunity in 2013 to take downforce away so the fans can see the guys race race cars and not race downforce," he said.
Edwards, who typically withholds his opinion on many issues to avoid controversy, will probably attract NASCAR's attention with his comments. He went on to say, as other drivers have before, that it's difficult to pass with the current aero package because the cars are so similar.
"Let's say all of the cars are a tenth (of a second) apart and you are behind two or three cars, your car is two-tenths of a second slower," he said. "You can't make (it) up.
"I'm not whining; Denny (Hamlin) earned this win and those are the rules we are under. Track position was huge, and I just wish it wasn't like that."
Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth, though, said he wasn't so sure the difficulty to pass was caused by the cars.
"It has been more difficult to pass lately," he said. "...I honestly think that is the tire more than anything else. It seems like the tires we have been running this year lay down a lot of rubber, which is nice, but on that restart it was slime from bottom to top and you are up there sliding. That is how it feels to me."
What do you think of Edwards' comments? Should NASCAR make a dramatic change to the cars in 2013 to promote more passing, or do you like the cars how they are now?