There’s rumors floating that the cars could see changes before the end of the season
At the start of the 2022 season, NASCAR released a brand new machine. The Next Gen car is a spec chassis, identical from team to team. It’s an effort to level the playing field as well as reduce costs.
NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie says NASCAR is working to fix the Next Gen package below.
The car features a wider tire, the gearbox now features 5 gears and the body shape is completely different from years past. Additionally, multiple parts and pieces are made and shipped from a single manufacturer.
With the new car, the product on the 1.5-mile tracks is fantastic. That’s specifically the case on 1.5-mile tracks that have multiple grooves. However, racing at the short tracks hasn’t been very good.
Many drivers have commented on the short track issue. Denny Hamlin noted that shifting at Martinsville took away passing opportunities. He said that short tracks are about momentum and when a driver messed up, he could just downshift to make up for his loss of speed of the corner, limiting passing opportunities.
There’s also many different changes that could be made in bulk to the aero package.
In recent years, NASCAR has put short tracks as a focus on the schedule. That point is highlighted as the championship race is held at Phoenix Raceway.
It was recently announced that the 2022 championship race is already sold out. That announcement also added that the 2023 championship race will again be held at Phoenix Raceway.
It’s important that the Next Gen car puts on a good show, in that race specifically. And, NASCAR isn’t just tucking their heads in the sand. They’re at work and looking to make mid-season changes…
Corey LaJoie comments
“I think Goodyear’s still trying to understand how this car wears on short tracks,” Corey LaJoie stated via the Stacking Pennies podcast.
“I think they could bring a little bit softer tire, specifically left sides.”
“And, I think that NASCAR is working on getting rid of the defuser. Taking a little bit more downforce off these cars, when we go back to Richmond and Martinsville.”
“If we keep the cars a little bit less stuck to the race track. Because, now we have 25% more rubber on the ground, due to wider wheels.”
“If we took some downforce off, to match, you’ll have some comers and goers. It should make the short tracks a little more of what we’re accustomed to seeing.”
LaJoie added, “Nobody wants the short tracks to be more racey than this guy. I know that NASCAR is certainly working on it.”
Short Tracks (per NASCAR criteria) : Phoenix Raceway, Richmond Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Dover Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway,