Thursday, Oct 10 10:33am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Next Gen NASCAR breaks cover

NASCAR has shown off their new ‘Next Gen’ car, which is slated to make a competitive debut in the 2021 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

The new-look NASCAR is a distinctive departure from the current generation of cars. The Next Gen NASCAR aims to put the ‘stock’ back in stock car racing.

Aesthetically, the cars will look closer to their road-going versions. Most noticeable it a more distinctive silhouette, which also sees the rear end shortened. Bigger rims are also part of the new package.

“This is an important milestone for the Next Gen car and the future of stock car racing,” said John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development.

“There are so many new systems on the car from the front to the back that our main goal with this test was to log laps and put miles on them.

“The test has met – and even exceeded – our expectations, and we are well on our way to developing the final iteration of the car.”

Ford, Dodge and Toyota are developing their bespoke body panels for the Next Gen car. NASCAR competitor Austin Dillon tested the car, built by Richard Childress Racing, at Richmond Raceway.

“I like the way that it looks, you can see the finished product down the road,” he said.

“The OEMs can make the body look really good, like a streetcar that you see on the road today.

“When it comes together and they all get their cars on the track, we’re going to have something to work with that also looks good.”

The car is one of two prototypes currently built. The other was assembled by NASCAR and was tested in the wind tunnel for the first time last week. That car is scheduled to make its second trip to the wind tunnel later this week. Another on-track test is anticipated before the year concludes.

“We have a very comprehensive test plan,” Probst said.

“We will be doing extensive wind tunnel testing to ensure liftoff speeds are appropriate before moving to larger tracks.

“As we move into 2020, we will begin testing on intermediate tracks, superspeedways and road courses.”