Development of NASCAR’s new car have been delayed
The coronavirus outbreak has seven NASCAR race on hold. None of them are canceled, just postponed.
When the schedule opens back up, NASCAR fans can expect double-header race weekends and mid-week races. The schedule is going to be highly condensed.
At the same time, NASCAR was developing a new car for the 2021 season. A series of tests have already been concluded at Richmond Raceway, Phoenix Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The car features a wide range of new design elements. The front splitter and side skirts are off the ground. There’s a rear defuser as well. All of those things are likely to highly reduce the aerodynamic downfalls the sports sees currently.
The chassis is a spec design. That means every time, regardless of manufacture make, will run the same chassis. That car was scheduled to be delivered to the teams in the early summer of 2020.
However, the most recent test for the car was scheduled for Atlanta Motor Speedway. That event was postponed.
At the same point, the state of North Carolina is currently on a stay at home order. NASCAR teams have been forced, by the state, to close up shop. This includes the sanction as well.
The deployment of the 2021 car was already being rushed. This virus just made it impossible.
Teams and drivers ask for Next Gen delay
Last week, several teams and drivers spoke out to request a delay of the NASCAR Next Gen car.
“Just to take the load off of the teams that we’re currently going to have when we go back racing,” Kevin Harvick stated via his ‘Happy Hours’ radio show.
Teams shared that outlook:
“Candidly, I think as an industry, our priority right now needs to be in salvaging and recovering our racing season that we’ve pressed pause right in the middle of,” said David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development told RACER.
“We prefer to see (Next Gen) pushed a whole year, and it be introduced in a clean fashion.”
“This crisis that we’re all a part of and as an industry, whether it’s from an OEM perspective, from a team perspective, sponsor perspective, all of us are going to have to go through a recovery period, just naturally speaking.”
“Most every business that’s attached to NASCAR in whatever fashion is under a tremendous amount of stress to varying degrees, so there’s always a cost associated with change, and again, it seems to me that we’d be better served to make sure we get to the other end of that recovery period and not overburden us from a near-term cost perspective.”
“We are not certainly suggesting that Next Gen still isn’t critical to the long-term sustainability of the sport. It is. And we absolutely continue to be supportive of it. It’s just making sure we collectively do this in a manner that’s smart and efficient.”
NASCAR statement on the Next Gen car
F1 was set to release a new car for 2021 as well. The open wheel sanction has already delayed their car until 2022.
Now, NASCAR has officially delayed the release of the Next Gen car:
“Due to challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, the debut of the Next Gen car will be delayed until 2022. The decision was made in collaboration with the OEMs and team owners. We will continue to develop the Next Gen car, and a revised testing timeline will be shared when more information is available.” – John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation.