Two NASCAR Next Gen car lost power on the same caution at the Los Angeles Coliseum; Looking further into the parts failure
On Sunday, NASCAR visited Los Angeles, California. The series built a temporary 1/4-mile oval inside the LA Coliseum and dropped the green flag with unknowns from all directions.
Even the car itself was an unknown. The Next Gen chassis is a spec car, identical from team to team, a first for the series. It had been through multiple tests. However, the Coliseum was it’s first official race. With low supply, teams were nervous.
Tyler Reddick started the race from the front row. He was looking for his first career win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
He battled at the front, lost the lead and reclaimed it. However, during a caution period, Reddick weaved his car from side to side in an attempt to build heat in the tires. Unfortunately, he lost all power in the process. Reddick coasted to the infield and was out of the race, from the race lead.
Initially, the issue was reported as a transaxle issue. However, Chevrolet has since looked into the issue…
Chevrolet comments on Tyler Reddick’s part failure
“He was getting ready to restart, trying to get heat in the tires and dropped the clutch a little too much, too abruptly,” Dr. Eric Warren, director of NASCAR Programs for General Motors, told NBC Sports.
“So it was damage with the prop shaft. It was not the transaxle. The drive shaft basically now is called the prop shaft with the way the transaxle works.”
“I think track being really small, it’s a cause of a little concern at Martinsville just because that much gear and that violent of a restart probably would be something to think about. At the time, we hadn’t really seen that issue in the past, so we need to get into it a little bit.”
“The cars had a lot more driveoff. I think a lot of drivers were surprised at how well they were able to drive off. There’s some technical work to see on was that unique to something we haven’t seen before? Was it a specific part failure? A new type of part? I’m sure we’ll dig into that in detail and have good answers.”
During the same caution, Chase Briscoe had an issue that looked near identical to Reddick’s. However, Warren was unsure if that was the same issue or not.
Building Next Gen
The car itself has been built and tweaked with input from the teams. In many cases, the car changed multiple times over, just in recent months.
“NASCAR has been great, honestly, and it’s been a mountainous challenge,” Warren said.
“They get a lot of input. They’ve responded as well as they can. With the supply chain issues, it’s been really hard. I think every team would wish they had more cars and parts, but the silver lining to the way the car is designed and intended was to have less cars. So now they’re going to be forced to deal with that and just like things breaking in testing, you don’t want to do it, but you learn things.”
The fleets are low. Most teams only have 2-4 cars. Those cars are set to be used in multiple Daytona races in the coming weeks.
“I think everyone was really worried about damaging cars with there not being that many of them, and looking at the damage of every car there, they’re probably already fixed,” Warren added.
“The beauty of this car is how fast it can be repaired. I’m certain that any of those crashes I’ve seen, if there was a practice today, they’d be running. There was nothing significant. Even look at the crashes in testing. Austin Dillon’s crash in Charlotte, it was a really heavy crash, and they were back at the track the next day. The crashes from yesterday were pretty small.”