NASCAR has heard its fans loud and clear. They want faster, more exciting races, and the sport has obliged. Following recent tests of the Next Gen Cup Series car, they’ve done away with the 550 horsepower package for the 2022 season.
Last week, NASCAR continued tests of the brand new cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Officials have announced that teams will use 670 hp cars at every track except superspeedways. Additionally, every Next Gen ride will be equipped with 4-inch, low-downforce spoilers.
While the 550 hp cars have been eliminated, the decision also gets rid of the 750 hp package used on road courses and short tracks this past season. Therefore the 670 hp cars will be used for intermediate tracks, short tracks, and road courses. Super speedways like Daytona and Talladega will still utilize lower power “plate” setups.
Yet the Next Gen cars will feature several more changes than just the motor power or aerodynamics. The cars will feature a lighter chassis, larger wheels with wider tires, sequential 5-speed gearboxes, and independent rear suspensions. NASCAR’s chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell shared his excitement for the new cars.
“So the bottom line of all this, and you’ll hear this from the drivers, is that this package with the Next Gen car puts it back in the drivers’ hands. And we’re excited about what that will do in 2022, for sure,” O’Donnell said, according to FOX News.
On Tuesday, 23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch shared similar comments about the Next Gen rides.
“I’m a racer and will race anything/anytime. This #NextGen car for @NASCAR is an incredible opportunity for drivers to be drivers. Car is new school and old school at the same time,” Busch wrote on Twitter earlier today.
NASCAR Reveals How Much It Will Cost To Build a Track in the L.A. Coliseum
NASCAR will roll out the Next Gen cars early next year. They’ll debut at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum during the weekend of February 5-6. The special preseason event will be held on a temporary asphalt track that’s being built inside the historic L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
“The Clash” is NASCAR’s preseason exhibition race that welcomes in each new season. Usually, the race is held at Daytona International Speedway, but for the first time in decades it will have a new home in Hollywood. According to a FOX News report, the temporary track will be built directly on top of the Coliseum’s football field. As for the cost of the track itself, NASCAR will pay an estimated $1 million.
The $1 million might seem steep, but it’s half the cost of what Bristol Motor Speedway paid earlier this year for their temporary track. Bristol paid $2 million to convert their asphalt track into a dirt surface this past spring. Since the L.A. Coliseum has a 78,000-seat capacity with tickets ranging from $65 to $866, NASCAR could make up the costs in their entirety.