Take a look under the body at the new NASCAR Chassis; Teams discuss possible car supply issues ahead of the season
For 2022, NASCAR is going a brand new direction. They’re putting the stock back in stock car.
For the first time, the chassis design will be identical from team to team. The frames are issued by a supplier, now longer are teams designing and building their own cars from scratch.
The idea is to drastically reduce costs. At the same time, it’s expected to level the playing field from powerhouse teams to the underfunded operations.
There’s a lot of change. One of the biggest is the modular design of the frame. The frame is assembled in three separate pieces.
“The chassis system is designed to be modular on Next Gen to allow the front clip, center section and the rear clip to bolt together and be interchangeable,” said Brandon Thomas, Managing Director of NASCAR Vehicle Systems.
“Any front clip will fit, any center section will fit the rear clip. It’s done for ease of repair, ease of turn around of cars between events. And for ease of setups, for the teams.”
Ease of repair explained
The ease of repair has already been put to use. In November, Austin Dillon spun out and crashed during the recent test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Located just up the road from the track is the home of Richard Childress Racing. The team was able to take the car to the shop and bring the same one back to the track.
“That showed everybody that this car has a tremendous amount of potential. From the time he wrecked to the time we got back to the track, a new snout, tail, nose, everything, 9 hours,” Richard Childress explained.
NASCAR Next Gen supply issues?
Stewart-Haas Racing didn’t participate in the Daytona test. Joe Gibbs Racing only brought one machine.
That’s a product of a low inventory in cars. Teams can’t risk crashing too many cars ahead of the season.
The season begins in the LA Coliseum in early February. That will be followed by a week of racing at Daytona International Speedway. Are they ready?
NASCAR: John Probst
“We’re still on track for 5 cars per time. The latest tracking we have, out of the supplier,” NASCAR’s John Probst stated.
“And that’s 5 center sections and seven front and rear clips. It’s kinda like 5+, a little bit.”
“We’re not immune to the world. We’re seeing COVID and supply chains being delayed. Right now, we don’t see any parts of pieces that are going to keep any car from racing in an event.”
Probst added, “We’re working with the teams to make sure we implement backup cars in an efficient manner. While we concerned, that’s what we do, we worry about things like that.”
Richard Childress Racing
“We have two right now per car, and the season starts pretty soon” Richard Childress said of his supply per team.
“You always got some concerns but I think NASCAR is approaching it right from a safety standpoint. We went back, after each test, the crash test, we would go back and make changes. That’s one reason we kinda got behind.”
Childress thinks they’ll have three cars per team before the start of the season.
Childress added, “There’s shortages on pieces but we’re going to be ok I think.”
Brad Keselowski said, “This car’s easier to turn over than cars in the past, by a good ways. But, it’s still a lot of work. Big challenge for them in the next few months, because of the inventory constraints.”
Keselowski added, “Outside of having another COVID lockdown or some significant accidents, I think we’ll have enough cars to race. But, I am concerned about the emotional and physical well-being of some of the people that work on the race cars.”