Two cars saw wheel issues with the new single lugnut rim; NASCAR is looking into it
For 2022, NASCAR has launched the Next Gen car. It’s a spec chassis that’s identical from team to team in a drastic effort to level the playing field and reduce costs.
A lot has changed on the machines, really, everything has changed. Many parts and pieces saw their first real test in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
There were a few issues regarding wheels…
Kaz Grala is driving for the new NASCAR entry, Money Team Racing. The car has an issue following a pit stop where the entire rim and wheel assembly came off the car.
A locking pin is designed to prevent that very thing. However, it happened.
The loss of a wheel while on track is likely to bring a hefty penalty for the team. A four race suspension for the crew chief will probably be handed out on Tuesday following the incident.
But, Grala wasn’t the only car with a wheel issue. Another car broke a rim. It came completely apart and then the detached tire carcass rolled across the track to bring a caution.
NASCAR hosted an exhibition race earlier this month. However, that race didn’t feature live pit stops. This was the pit stop debut for the NASCAR Next Gen machines.
Additionally, earlier in the week, Team Penske and RFK Racing had their wheels confiscated by the sanctioning body. NASCAR hasn’t added specifics but it’s rumor the teams were boring out the alignment holes to allow the wheel to be attached easier on pit stops.
NASCAR comments on the Next Gen car
“Incredible finish, really great racing all day long,” Steve O’Donnell opened following the Daytona 500.
“You start out thinking, ‘Are the cars even going to make it out there? How are they going to preform? What’s going to happen? Are they going to be safe in an incident?’ “
“All those things played out. Really proud of the entire industry coming together.”
There were multiple large crashes on Sunday in the Daytona 500. Harrison Burton was the only car to get upside down. However, it appears the Next Gen car handled crashes well. Many drivers stated that impacts from crashes were less than expected.
“All in all, preformed really well. We’ll go back and digest a lot of that with the race teams. Not only the lack of debris that we got to clean up, but no oil spills which has historically taken a long time to clean up in the race.”
“It’s really too early to tell,” O’Donnell added.
“This was the first time we had live pit stops. It’s the Daytona 500, a lot of pressure. We’ll see what happened.”
“If we need to make adjustments for California, we’ll do that.”