The car will return with ‘modifications’
Monday-Wednesday, the NASCAR Next Gen car took to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Two machines were one hand, one driven by Martin Truex Jr and the other driven by Kurt Busch.
The test was run on both the road course and oval layouts. It was the first time NASCAR’s latest technology was unloaded on a road course.
Following the initial day of testing on the Roval, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive from both drivers. The bigger brakes, bigger tires and new sequential shifter are a nice pairing with the road course layout.
On Wednesday, the two cars took to the oval. It was the first time that NASCAR’s new prototype saw two cars on track at the same time.
The new NASCAR race car is a spec chassis. All teams will run the same frames, regardless of manufacture as an extreme cost saving measure.
Aerodynamically, the car is designed to give better passing opportunities. However, NASCAR isn’t happy with what they saw after two cars touched the track at the same tim.
Originally, the car was set to make it’s debut in 2021. Testing postponements earlier this year has pushed back the release by a full year.
The stock car racing series intends to continue working on the new design before a full rollout in 2022.
John Probst on the NASCAR Next Gen test
“It’s been a long three days at Charlotte – it started Monday with the road course test which we felt went really well,” stated NASCAR Vp of Racing Innovation John Probst.
“Both drivers were very complimentary of how the cars handled with the increased brakes and sequential shifter, it was pretty much anticipated that they’d like that over what we had [on the oval].
“[Oval] feedback, frankly wasn’t as good as it was on the road course.
“We collected a significant amount of data from the last three days that we’ll start going through [Thursday] morning at the R&D Center. We’ll figure out what modifications we need to make.”
“We’ll enlist the help of our OEMs and teams to help us make the right decisions here as we finalize the design of this car in the next few months.”
“Anytime you get the opportunity to have somebody like Kurt and Martin in the car – veterans that have driven not just the current car, but previous generations – they provide a good historical perspective for you,” Probst said.
“It’s always good when you can get veterans in the car that you can use as a guidepost to keep you going in the right direction.
“They did a phenomenal job for us; we couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The next steps for the NASCAR Next Gen car
On December 15-16, NASCAR will bring the cars to Daytona for single-car runs. It will be the first Superspeedway test of the new car.
As of now, we haven’t seen what the cars will actually look like. The front noses and rear bumpers are both stock ‘unfinished’ pieces. We’ve yet to see the three manufacture designs that will really shape the look of the new car.
In March, we’re likely to see what the car looks like for each manufacture…
“Beyond that, we’re working on a tyre test plan with Goodyear right now that will likely have seven or eight tests for 2021,” he said.
“The OEMs are currently wrapping up the builds of their own vehicles and we will look to start Wheel Force Transducer (WFT) testing in March with all three cars on the track together.”