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Despite early concerns, NASCAR drivers eager to take Gen-6 car for its 1st real spin in Vegas

Although Denny Hamlin's criticism of the new Gen-6 race car drew heavy attention and a hefty fine from NASCAR, most drivers think it's too early to make any negative judgment about their new rides.

In fact, this weekend's race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be the Gen-6's first real chance to show what it's got.

NASCAR and its three manufacturers built the new car largely to improve racing on 1.5-mile tracks like the oval in Vegas, where Brad Keselowski will start from the pole on Sunday.

While Hamlin's pessimism got headlines this week largely because NASCAR spotlighted it by fining him $25,000, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are among the drivers who are encouraged by their early experience in the new cars.