NASCAR Cup Series test at Phoenix Raceway Jan 24, 2023; Avondale, AZ, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones (43) races alongside Ross Chastain (1) during testing at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Christopher Bell raised a hot topic in NASCAR Wednesday.

Literally a hot topic.

NASCAR is considering using mufflers on its cars for races in big cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles. Six race teams tested the mufflers, along with some other minor modifications, at Phoenix Raceway Wednesday.

Bell, who finished third in the NASCAR Cup Series standings last season, said the mufflers greatly increased heat inside his car. That’s a concern given the interior of cars can reach 140 degrees.

“It was hot, hot, hot, hot, hot,” Bell told Fox Sports reporter Bob Pockrass. “It was a great back to back (comparison) from yesterday with no mufflers to today with mufflers. Just in the garage area, sitting there through changes, it was super hot today, and yesterday it was nothing. Even at the end of the test (today) we took the mufflers off and I went back to not even sweating.”

“Today it was 50 degrees and everyone was bundled up in hoodies, and I’m in the car sweating. All the other drivers felt the same. It’s going to be super hot if we take that same package and go race anywhere.”

This situation might not pose a problem at NASCAR’s Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a night race in February. But heat would be an issue at the Chicago Street Race on July 2, as the temperature at race time could be in the 80s or even 90s.

That’s why they hold these preseason tests, however, to troubleshoot these potential problems.

On a positive note, Bell said the mufflers did make the cars a “lot more quiet” in the garage area, although he could not tell any difference on the track.

[Bob Pockrass, Fox Sports]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.