NASCAR brought a possible fix for the heat issue; Steering issues continue to plague the engineers in the garage
On Monday and Tuesday of this weekend, the Next Gen car unloaded at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 21 cars were on hand to run the ROVAL.
Since late 2020, NASCAR drivers have been complaining of steering issues on the NASCAR Next Gen car.
Following this week’s test on the Charlotte ROVAL, the issue remains. Most drivers in the field noted some sort of steering issue.
NASCAR has stated that some of the steering issues included set screws backing out.
A fix for the issues remains unclear. However, the industry is working on it.
In the last test session at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, drivers noted the heat inside the race car. This is due to a more sealed cockpit.
NASCAR brought a fix to the Charlotte ROVAL. There’s vents toward the top of the front windshield as well as the back windshield on some machines. They’re hoping it cycles air through the cockpit.
Additionally, NASCAR brought new suspension components to test. This is considered a rough draft of the finalized machine.
Here’s what the drivers had to say regarding NASCAR Next Gen issues…
Alex Bowman comments on steering issues
“Some guys have it all the time. Some guys have it only some of the time,” Alex Bowman said of steering rack issues on the Next Gen car.
“We’ve been on both sides of it. I think we’re on steering rack 4 or 5. We’re working really hard at trying to fix it.”
“So, we’re working really hard at trying to fix it. I think the advantage to having so many cars here and so many people is that there’s a ton of smart people working on fixing it.”
“Obviously, we gotta get that dialed in. It’s definitely been a headache but that’s why we’re here to test.”
Bowman added, “Nothing goes perfectly. It’s a new design, we just gotta get it worked out.”
Ryan Blaney comments on Next Gen steering issues
“Are we going to go to Bristol and have this same problem? I mean, it’s a massive, high load race track. Are we going to have the same issue, I don’t know,” Blaney said.
“I would hope not. But, you gotta think that Bristol has a lot more load on everything than here. Those are the things you gotta figure out.”
“I think if you get the steering deal better, other than that, we haven’t had an real problems.”
“The heat deal, I’d like to see a little bit better cooling inside the race car. It’s not been bad the last two days but it’s been kinda cool outside. I know at Daytona, drivers said they were. It’s hotter down there.”
“But, you still gotta get things down to where you’re not cooking turkeys inside the race car.”
“I think it’s close, they’ve done a good job at developing it. That’s all these tests. It’s to try and work some of the bugs out. I think it’s getting there.”
Tyler Reddick details Next Gen steering complaints
“Teams were in the car changing the geometry. It changes how much that issue is effecting each team,” Tyler Reddick explained.
“It sounds like pretty much everybody has something like that going on. Right off the bat, I didn’t really like the sensation of it. It pretty much feels like having no power steering on the oval.”
“Where we’re at this weekend, we kinda just gotta compromise. Because if we make it soft enough on the oval, it’ll be like driving a bus on the infield and I won’t have any feel in the steering wheel.”
“It’s something that we’ll get eventually worked out. We didn’t have a fix here with us today that we could try. Too, it’s a very lengthy change. We lose 3-4 hours trying to fix. It’s something we’ve decided to just live with for these two days.”
Reddick concluded, “It’s really hard to turn the wheel. Just because of how much load is getting sent through all that stuff.”
The NASCAR Next Gen car will make it’s debut at the LA Coliseum next year. Three more tests are scheduled before it’s official debut