NASCAR on 2020 rules changes; 2021 Next Gen car timeline

Timelines are in place for the 2021 car; Manufacture body shapes are soon to be released; Next test session scheduled

NASCAR is heading to the same tracks in 2020. However, the order has drastically shifted with a focus on short tracks.

However, the 2019 rules package didn’t exactly work well for the short tracks. Despite a parts development freeze, the teams and NASCAR agreed to make some changes for the short tracks in 2020.

A few months ago, NASCAR announced rules changes for short tracks and road courses. All other ovals over 1-mile will continue to use the 2019 rules package.

The 1.5-mile package increased passing numbers across the board and brought new excitement to the series. However, as fans screamed for more short tracks, the package also hurt the short tracks.

Now, NASCAR will have a mix for 2020. It’s the best of both worlds. An extremely low downforce package for short tracks and a high downforce package for tracks over 1-mile.

2020 NASCAR rule changes

-Smaller rear spoiler, down from an 8-inch height to just 2.75 inches.

-The front splitter overhang has basically been removed for short tracks and road course. The overhang is a quarter inch on short tracks, previously 2 inches (short tracks and road courses).

-Front splitter wings have been reduced from 10.5-inches to just 2-inches (short tracks and road courses).

-The radiator pan has also been adjusted. A veritcal front-end piece has been removed to further remove downforce (short tracks and road courses).

NASCAR on 2020 changes

“We’re always trying to lock down any expenditure that we can, that’s not going to affect what the fans see on the race track,” Steve O’Donnell said of 2020.

“Our bigger emphasis is what happens on the track. Can we make improvements? Again, I applaud everybody coming together.”

“Not only, how we’re going to race on the track. But, also the schedule. I think it’s been overlooked for 2020, a lot of cool changes.”

“There’s a lot of pent up excitement,” he added.

But, beyond what has changed for 2020, there’s still some much larger changes on the horizon.

“Still, some changes that we’re all working on. It comes from a place that we understand we all gotta work together to continue to improve. We feel like we’ve got some momentum.”

“Where do we want to be in 2021? 2022? Looking ahead with our entire industry.”

NASCAR Next Gen chassis without wheels - Garage area
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – JANUARY 15: A general view of the Next Gen car during testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on January 15, 2020 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The 2021 car

For 2021, NASCAR is set to debut an all-new race car. Technical aspects have been improved on all angles of the car.

It will see front splitters and side skirts that are off the ground. A rear defuser will force air onto the trailing car.

The chassis designs will be sold from a single supplier. Gone are the days of teams spending countless millions to develop track specific frames.

Additionally, all three manufactures will release brand new body shapes to fit the new chassis.

The car has already been on the track for three test sessions at Richmond Raceway, ISM Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. More of those tests are on the way.

“Everything’s still 100% a go. [All the] timelines have been met from our perspective,” Steve O’Donnell stated of the 2021 car.

“The next test will be in California. The first chance for us to get that car out there, post race, with rubber on the track. Kinda, race conditions.”

“As we are speaking now, the OEM’s are working on their submissions for that car. Still on target were teams will have cars in that June-July, timeframe.”

“Then, a ton of testing to take place toward the tail-end of the season. We’re looking to announced those OEM body types in June-July.”


NASCAR Next Gen set for test at Homestead-Miami Speedway

More on the 2021 NASCAR racecar

NASCAR Next Gen test concluded at ISM Raceway

NASCAR concludes first test of 2021 Next Gen car (October 2019)

ISM Raceway will host the 2020 NASCAR finale; They need to fix it first

2021 NASCAR race car seen on-track for the first time

NASCAR to test 2021 race car for the first time

2020 NASCAR rules announced

NASCAR admits mistakes; Looks to return to roots in 2021

NASCAR details 2021 schedule ideas

Independent rear suspensions for 2021?

NASCAR is looking to bring short tracks back in 2021 and beyond


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