Development phase near complete for NASCAR’s new car
Chris Buescher of Roush Fenway Racing became the latest driver to test NASCAR’s upcoming 2022 chassis.
The new car will be a spec chassis. An independent rear suspension replaced the former solid axle rear suspension. The gearbox is sequential with 6 gears instead of 5.
As for the engine, NASCAR is developing a new engine with electric, likely hybrid components. The current engine will be used with the Next Gen car until the development of that engine is completed.
We’ve yet to see what the car will actually look like. Manufactures are currently putting together their own body shapes to be installed. The Next Gen car that we’ve seen features a generic nose and rear bumper.
The NASCAR Next Gen car does everything, a little better. During the previous test on the Charlotte Road Course, the car was down around 100hp and still several seconds quicker than the current spec of car.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the car visited a Superspeedway for the first time.
“Honestly, it’s a little bit of just mind over matter as far as shifting – trying to make sure you keep pulling backwards for the sequential stuff, which was really neat,” Buescher said. “I really enjoyed using it and got better as it went, learning what it can and can’t do there by the end.
“The brakes are terrific and I know this isn’t even a short-track set-up, but they stop extremely well. There’s not going to be any issues getting to pit road and not having the stopping power, just going to be a matter of not spinning out.”
“Daytona was an important test for us, because when we come back here in 2022 we have to make sure we hit the speed targets that we’re looking for,” NASCAR senior vice president of racing innovation John Probst said Wednesday.
“We came here with one car – obviously, we would like to come here with 15 or 20, but we just don’t have that many right now.”
“So, we played with a lot of horsepower levels and drag levels to hit our target speed, which we were able to do pretty easily. We did that early in day one, then spent the rest of the test trying some new things on steering and also doing some ride-height sweeps just to get some sensitivities in the car to ride height.
“Nothing surprising, and all good as far as the development of the car.”
What’s next for Next Gen?
“I think some of the stuff we found in the car is very promising for some of the other tracks we’re going to take it to,” Probst said. “So, if anything, we may try to get on a local track up in the Charlotte area for a couple hours to verify what we found here translates to some other track types.
“We will be working with Goodyear to do a couple more tests with the car, but it will be coming out of the development phase and we’ll be focusing primarily on the tires,” he said. “We’ll probably do three or four tire tests in the first half of next year for Goodyear.”
The Next Gen car will make is competition debut in the 2022 Daytona 500.