NASCAR has adjusted the rule book for the Next Gen car during the test at Charlotte Motor Speedway
The NASCAR Next Gen car makes it’s official debut at the LA Coliseum next year. It’s a new spec machine, all teams are now running the same chassis, regardless of manufacture.
NASCAR is conducting another test of the Next Gen car this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The test began on Wednesday with a test from 9am to 8pm.
For Thursday, they’re back on track from 8am to 5pm. However, NASCAR has made an adjustment to the rules. They’ve taken an inch off the rear spoiler.
New Spoiler Height: 7 Inches
John Probst comments on the Charlotte test
John Probst noted that the change is related to combat a previous aero change. Due to excessive heat, officials added rear window vents to increase circulation in the car. That added drag to the car.
The trimming of the rear spoiler brings the car back to the drag levels prior to the window net change.
“You saw a lot of the smaller teams actually up the leaderboard a good bit there,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing innovation.
“I know not everybody’s coming here to put a lap time up. But you see the teams from front to back are a lot more prepared and they’re on the track right away. So, I feel like they’re learning very quickly and their level of preparation has gone way up, especially now that we’re done racing. They’re completely focused on the car at this point.”
“I would expect Phoenix to be the next evolution of the preparation, and the competition from front to back should be continuing to get better and better.”
Drivers comment on the Next Gen car
On Wednesday, Kurt Busch made his debut with 23XI Racing.
“I feel like there’s been good, steady progress with some of the gremlins in the steering, some of the gremlins in the transaxle and then just standard suspension settings,” said Kurt Busch, who has driven the Next Gen car before, but Wednesday marked his first on-track time with 23XI Racing.
Busch added, “Those are all getting a bit more scienced out. It was like we were on the moon before and now we’ve landed on planet Earth. And now it’s up to each team to individually tailor the cars to make themselves better.
Alex Bowman compared the Next Gen car to the previous machine:
“This entire car from top to bottom — for everybody that’s working on it, for all the drivers, for everybody that’s building the parts and pieces — it’s a new challenge,” Alex Bowman said. “There are so many things on it different than what we had. It’s very challenging.
Bowman added, “The old car was really fun because how aggressively hard you could drive it. This car, you can’t drive it as hard I don’t feel like, or at least I’m not comfortable with it yet. But learning where those limits are — how hard you can or can’t drive it — is going to be a challenge. I’m enjoying trying to figure it out.”
The Next Gen car is set for another test at Phoenix Raceway on Dec. 14-15. Then, Daytona International Speedway hosts a test on Jan. 11-12. Additional tracks are in the works but have not been announced.