CHARLOTTE, N.C.– The drape lifted, the smoke rippled, and three NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen vehicles made a remarkable, soaring entryway onto the display screen flooring at the unveiling.
The impression was unmistakable. When ruling Cup champion Chase Elliott drove the Chevrolet Camaro, Joey Logano the Ford Mustang, and Denny Hamlin the Toyota Camry roughly 30 yards in the Wednesday afternoon unveiling of the much-anticipated Next-Gen car, the most striking element was just how much the brand-new race cars resembled their production equivalents– and how simple it was to distinguish the latest vehicles from one another.
” This is a substantial minute for our sport,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said during his intro of the Next Gen cars and trucks. “This car and truck is more pertinent and consists of more innovation than any vehicle in NASCAR history.
Just as essential to our fans is the racing on the race track. It’s tough to think that the racing could be any more muscular than last year and the first 11 races this year, but this automobile has functions that will make it even better.
” Put, these cars, and trucks will make our sport healthier and stronger. It’s an amazing day for our industry and our fans, and I’m proud of all the work that went into bringing us to today.”
Based on information gleaned from simulations and limited testing of small numbers of NextGen vehicles, NASCAR anticipates the brand-new race automobile to be more challenging to drive and more attractive to race. As Elliott put it, it’s a fresh start for the very best stock car chauffeurs on the planet.
” I’m excited about the item that we came up with and a lot of collaboration with all of our key partners at Chevrolet within the NASCAR groups to have an item that looks as good as it does and is similar to the automobile and the Camaro you can go purchase your Chevrolet car dealership, too,” Elliott said. “Excited about that.
There will be things with these cars and trucks I have not seen as a race car and truck motorist. I’m looking forward to all the things that come with that, attempting to reinvent yourself as a chauffeur to see what you have to do to be excellent.”
Nascar greeted fans in attendance at the revealing with race cars and truck that shows a lower roofline; a more prolonged, sleeker hood location; a smaller sized, racier rear decklid location, and more effectively protected wheels that include a single central lug instead of the five lug studs currently in use.
Hidden from view are additional functions that bring the Next-Gen vehicle closer to modern production vehicles.
“The vehicle itself, first of all, as an engineer, racer, I love everything underneath it which you can’t see today,” stated Mark Rushbrook, international director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “The brand-new architecture is moving it forward, making it more modern– the independent rear suspension, the (rack-and-pinion) guiding system, the driveline, the opportunity for power train advancements as our world modifications for future power trains– that’s all developed into this. We’re excited about that.
” The biggest thing is what you can see today and what the fans will see on the track. As a racing fan, I can’t wait to see 40 of these out on track. It’s the body, what we can do by coming up with brand-new proportions for it. This screams ‘Mustang’ to me, simply the proportions of the automobile. With the low roofing system, the long hood, the brief deck– those are Mustang proportions. That leaps out right away.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic, the debut of the Next-Gen vehicle was at first slated for 2021 however was delayed for a year. Even though the car won’t race competitively till Speedweeks at Daytona in February 2022, it has already affected new ownership to NASCAR’s premier series.
“We’ve heard it from Trackhouse Racing from Justin Marks and Pitbull and Live Fast Racing with Matt Tifft and B.J. McLeod. I think this cars and truck and the significance of this cars and truck, what it represents, is at the heart of what that would be.”
Hamlin affirmed Phelps’s assertion, noting that the prospect of synchronized development of the Next-Gen vehicle by definition cultivates parity between organizations.
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” It’s an attractive time to come into the sport, clearly,” said Hamlin, who partnered with Jordan this year to field vehicles for Bubba Wallace. “This was a significant factor in our choices, will belong to our picks in the future.
” We have a reset in technology and resources that are going to be going into this car. We’re not at a 20- to 30-year disadvantage by entering the sport. We’ll all be establishing it at the same time in its early existence.”
The Next-Gen automobile, however, is not yet a fait accompli. There’s testing to be finished with great deals of vehicles on the track, planning to examine the aerodynamic aspects of several cars racing together. There are choices still to be made about such vital racing aspects as horsepower and spoiler size.
” We have tests coming up in August (that) will be the first time that we’ll look at Daytona with numerous cars on the track,” stated Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “And then as you fast-forward towards completion of the season– October, I think– we’ll have both the (Charlotte) Roval and the oval with several vehicles on the track from each of the race teams.
” And after that following that up post-Phoenix (in November), we’ll dial that in with the race teams too, with several vehicles out on the track. I don’t have anything concrete yet for Daytona around that January amount of time. However, those will be what will be in location towards the end of this year, with several automobiles out there.”