“We’re taking the seat out of the current car and throwing the rest away.”
The NASCAR Next Gen car was originally scheduled to debut in 2021. Due to COVID, the development and subsequent release of the new car was pushed back a full year.
Now, we’re approaching the end of the 2021 season. And the Next Gen car will make it’s debut in just a few months.
The car design is spec. All manufactures will run the same chassis, regardless of make. The bodies will be composite. Both are drastic measures to save development costs on the teams.
It’s also designed to fix many problems in the modern era of NASCAR racing. Aerodynamics have made it difficult to pass. With the new car, the two step front splitter keeps the front end off the ground. The rear defuser is designed to push air onto a trailing car, allowing for closer racing.
Whatever style of NASCAR racing we’re seeing today, it won’t be the same in 2022. It’s wholesale changes at the NASCAR Cup Series level.
The design of the NASCAR Next Gen car was finalized months ago. However, with a spec car, speed will be found with how they’re put together. And teams are facing an uphill battle, with limited data to build the new car.
David Wilson talks the NASCAR Next Gen car
“One of the silver linings of COVID was it gave us a little breathing room. We would never have made 2021. We just wouldn’t have,” said TRD President David Wilson said at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“This isn’t just an evolution, we’re taking the seat out of the current car and throwing the rest away and we can’t minimize that. The reality is we’re going to be working on this airplane while we’re flying it. We’re going to be working on this car while we’re racing it next year.
“That’s to be expected. No one should be surprised. That’s just what we’re dealing with.”
Next Gen Testing
NASCAR has been testing the car for a long time. The car was finalized months ago. Recently, the car made a return to Daytona where 8 cars were put on the track in the first test session featuring more than 2 cars.
More tests are coming at Charlotte Roval, Charlotte (Oval) and Phoenix. But, tests are one thing and racing is another. The car will make it’s debut in spectacular fashion via The Clash on a temporary built race track, inside the LA Coliseum.
Wilson added, “Good, bad or otherwise we don’t have a ‘Plan B’ and as an industry our heads are down and we got to get this car ready to race. We need to make sure the cars are safe. We need to make sure the cars race well.”
The next test takes place on the Charlotte Roval. That will follow the playoff race at the track in October.
Wilson added, “One of the things we’re balancing as an industry is none of the teams want to build a whole lot of cars right now because, again, this car, we’re still sorting it out. We’re still fixing things.”