2021 NASCAR: Two-step front splitter, big wheels, different side skirts, hood ducts, rear diffuser and more
The 2021 NEXT GEN NASCAR race is here and it took to the track at Richmond Raceway in Virginia.
Yesterday and again today, NASCAR is hosting a super secret test session of the 2021 race car.
It’s not secret, in that everyone now knows that it’s going on. It’s more secret because nobody is invited.
Richard Childress Racing supplied the car for the test. Austin Dillon is the driver.
For the first time, Austin Dillon allowed the public a sneak peek at the 2021 car.
2021 NASCAR Elements
Front Splitter / Nose
There’s all kinds of interesting things going on with the 2021 NASCAR body alone. While the testing body itself isn’t designed to resemble the shape we’re likely to see in 2021, it does show some of the other important characteristics that are pending.
Basically, we’re focusing on all the black parts of the testing car. Everything shown in the white/black pattern will be wildly different from what we’re being shown.
So, there’s no sense in speculating on any of that. The manufacture resembling edges of the body are removed on this test car and it won’t stay that way.
Front splitter: First, the front splitter is now a two step splitter that allows air over the top of it and into the engine compartment.
Another interesting aspect is the splitter is not flat. That’s opposite of the current spec which is checked with a straight edge in the tech line.
Previously, teams found advantages of bending the splitter slightly. And in many cases, it’s the most important part of the car. To the point where they spend days hanging splitters at the race shop.
The center section of the 2021 splitter is well off the ground. That’s exciting to see. Only the edges of the splitter will be on the race track.
That will likely reduce some of wake issues (dirty air) of the current style of car sees when it tucks in behind another car into and through a corner.
2021 NASCAR Elements
Side skirts: There appears to be something similar going on with the side skirts. But, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on there in the brief video.
Wheels: Everyone is talking about the wheels. Forever, teams have used pretty bone stock steel wheels. That appears to be changing as manufactures will use wheels similar to the cars on the streets and they have been increased to 18 inches.
The big take away with the wheels isn’t what they look like now. They will look different and probably be different for every manufacture. What we see in the test isn’t likely to be used. But they will remain 18 inches, which is a major change.
There’s also rumors that NASCAR will go the route of one large center lug nut. This tests shows a five bolt pattern wheel, same as what they currently use.
Rear bumper/Diffuser: The rear bumper will no longer likely be a sticker that resembles the make of the various manufactures. Now, it has a diffuser.
Difusers change the velocity of the air under the car and helps generate downforce by providing a constant and steady stream of air, instead of gusts which would increase drag.
Engine: The engine is fitted with air ducts that run through the hood. This is something we saw tested during the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race and appears to have stuck so far on the 2021 car.
As for what’s going on under that hood, I don’t know. I know a little about suspensions but I’ve always been lost on engines. I’m not a mechanic, Harry. But, I know things are about to drastically change under there.
Austin Dillon on the 2021 car
“This test has been a blast so far. It’s fun talking about different types of adjustments. The car stops on a dime. Lots to look forward to in the future,” Austin Dillon stated via social media.
“This is not the locked in body style. All the OEM’s are working on their separate body style.”
“But, this is what we’re testing and the test is going well so far. I think there’s really cool things to come from this car in 2021.”
“I really like working on it and it’s a lot of fun to drive.”