NASCAR has made some tweaks to the 2021 car as it’s testing at Auto Club Speedway
On March 2-3, the NASCAR Next Gen car is on track at Auto Club Speedway.
This is the fourth test of the 2021 NASCAR racecar. Previous tests were run at Richmond Raceway, ISM Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The phase 1 car was designed by NASCAR and has only visited the wind tunnel. The Phase 2 car was built by Richard Childress Racing and was used on track in all of the prior tests.
William Byron is circling the track today. The Phase 3 design comes with some tweaks that were requested by the teams following earlier tests.
The phase two chassis was difficult to work on. NASCAR has made adjustments on the frame to allow more workable areas.
The front clip was opened to allow easier access to the engine area. The rear chassis has been modified to allow easier access to things like sway bars, springs and shocks.
Additionally, phase 3 gives the drivers a better view of their surroundings.
Single lug nut for 2021 NASCAR race car
For 2021, the car will feature 18 inch aluminum wheels. That presented a new design challenge. Long expected, the single lug nut is here…
“For us we felt like from a standpoint of the wheel is that we wanted to get to an 18-inch wheel, an aluminum wheel,” John Probst said.
“Once you get to an 18-inch aluminum wheel, the next step for us is to make sure that from a durability standpoint under racing conditions is that it will accept the durability that we need to finish races and then also finish multiple races. To do that, the single nut was our only option.”
“I think from a fan standpoint, the choreography of the pit stop will look unchanged.”
“I think that a lot of times when we say single lug nut, people fear that it’s an open-wheel style pit stop where people will be on their knees waiting for the car to come in. We don’t intend to change anything with respect to how the pit-stop flow is executed.”
“On the on and off, they still have to keep the gun on — they can’t just cap it, it’s got to actually ratchet a few times before it actually gets tight,” Probst added.
“So today, good tire changers can take five lug nuts off or put them on in less than a second, say eight-tenths of a second to a second. They’re going to have to leave the gun on for probably at least a half a second, so if anything, they may be three-tenths (quicker) here and there, but it shouldn’t dramatically change the timing on the pit stop.”
NASCAR Next Gen components
The NASCAR Next Gen chassis will be a spec design. One manufacture will make the chassis designs for all teams.
Beyond the chassis, many stock parts and pieces will be fitted from selected manufactures. The phase 3 car is expected to be fitted with many of those components.
Technique previously made all of their parts in Michigan. They supply metal stampings, bent tubing, and laser cut tubing.
Their website was recently updated with a job position for a welder location in Concord, NC. It would be speculation to assume why they need a welder in NC.
When do teams get the Next Gen chassis?
NASCAR EVP Steve O’Donnell previously stated that teams would begin to receive their 2021 cars in July.
When is the next NASCAR Next Gen test?
Testing will continue throughout 2020 before the car turns it’s first last of competition in February 2021.
Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the NASCAR Cup Series on March 15th. Directly following that test, the NASCAR Next Gen machine will take to the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
If the cycle continues, it would likely be a Ford driver to take to the track in that test. The likely candidate is a driver from Stewart-Haas Racing or Roush Fenway Racing as they have yet to test the new machine.