NASCAR is looking to put the ‘stock’ back in stockcar
NASCAR is currently working on wholesale changes for the 2021 car. It’s going to be wildly different than what we see today.
NASCAR is trying to get back to “stockcar”. Currently, the cars are crude. Truck arm suspensions aren’t seen on any showroom floor. Additionally, most models offer some form of hybrid technology.
The 2021 Next Gen racecar has been on the track. Austin Dillon concluded the test in October at Richmond Raceway.
Beyond engines and suspensions, the cars are set to see a drastic body shift. They will come with a two step front splitter and a rear defuser.
The bodywork themselves is a total mystery. We haven’t seen any of that to date. The car that ran the test featured a generic body. All the manufactures are currently at work on their bodies for 2021 but you can expect them to look more like their showroom equivalents.
With the 2019 season in the rear view mirror, let’s talk 2021 NASCAR…
Cost caps in NASCAR
F1 has traditionally been the most expensive form of motorsports. It still is. But, for 2021 series officials will enforce a spending cap. NASCAR has their eyes on that as well.
“I think reasons to go to this new car, one is to take what is great racing, will be great racing in 2020, to create better racing. I think this new car will do that, this Next Gen car,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps commented.
“Another component certainly is around relevance. Our partners were here looking at the showroom car or the street car versus what our racecar will look like. It’s going to be extraordinary. “
“We are going to put the ‘stock’ back in stockcar.”
“The last component of that is to try to make sure that the costs associated with the car are not such that they just continue to escalate on that car.”
“Whether we are going to have a cost cap moving forward, I don’t know. It is not an easy thing to do. We want to make sure that we have competitive racing. When the race starts, we want as many folks and drivers to win that race as they can.”
“Lots of work to do on what we would do, whether we would have a cost cap or not. But it is something that we continue to work with our race teams on to make sure that we are having competitive race teams and race teams that are profitable.”
Waiting to see how cost caps works in F1
“We’re going to see, right? We’re going to see how it works with F1. A little bit of a wait‑and‑see approach on that.”
“It is not an easy thing to do, right? How are you going to make sure the costs are being captured fairly and smartly across the race teams? It is a slippery slope.
Phelps added, “It doesn’t mean that it’s not a good step or it doesn’t mean we’re not going to get there. It means that we’re going to study it very closely.”
“We’re going to study what they’re doing, continue to work with our teams to make sure whatever we do moving forward makes the most sense for our sport.”
2021 NASCAR race car
“So, yes, the car is on schedule, as I said. With that said, we’re going now through an RFP [request for proposal] process, RFPing different parts of the car.”
“There are parts that fans don’t frankly care we’re competing, and other parts fans care we’re competing. Also our OEM partners, certain things they want to compete at, certain things they don’t care about.”
“We’re in the RFP process. We’re on the track already at Richmond. We have another test coming up in a couple of weeks.”
“When the teams will take delivery of that car, probably in the July time frame of when the cars will start to be delivered. I have to give a shout out to, again, really the entire industry because they’re working collaboratively, working together.”
“NASCAR runs the process, but there are teams that are involved, OEMs that are involved, and that’s how we’re going to be successful moving forward.”
“With respect to those that are in the RFPs to build the car, I don’t want to get into specifics about where that is. There would obviously need to be a separation between that race team and whatever either part or the vehicle itself that’s being put together.”
“If there is a team that is interested in competing for what that’s going to be, it would have to be kind of removed from what that organization is, if that makes sense.”
Hybrid NASCAR engine coming
“I do think for a new engine, that engine will have some type of electrification, some hybrid that will be part of it. It’s kind of a follow up to the question, in fact, I know for a fact we will not have a new OEM unless we change our engine.”
“This engine is going to sound significantly the same as whatever the current engine is. We’re not going to have a bunch of electric cars going around. That’s not what this is about.”
“It’s about having a relevant engine to our OE partners, both the existing Ford, Chevy and Toyota, as well as whoever the new OEMs that we’re looking at.”
“Some form of hybrid, some form of electrification is going to be required, whether it’s stored engine or whatever that might be is down the line.”
NASCAR single engine package
“But ideally creating a single engine package as opposed to taking an engine and kind of choking the horsepower down, is something that I believe we will ultimately get to.””
Currently, NASCAR uses a tapered spacer to cut airflow to the engine. Tracks over a mile, run the restricted engine package at 550hp. Tracks under a mile run unfiltered at 750hp.
“What that looks like frankly will be a discussion between ourselves and our existing OEs because we need to make sure we are taking care of them first and foremost before we get a new OEM into the garage. They have been incredibly supportive of that.”
“We’ve had a couple of different partners come to the racetrack. We had some last week. We had a group that came when we were at Talladega.”
“Each of the OEs showed them what they do, this is what Ford does, this is what we do at GM, this is what we do at Toyota. That’s incredibly helpful. They, too, want to be able to compete on the racetrack with other OEMs.”