For the first time since 2013, NASCAR has put out a Next Gen car that could very well change the nature of the race at various tracks.
The NASCAR Next Gen car differs from its predecessor in a few key ways. According to CBS Sports, the car boasts a “sleeker” look that includes “shorter greenhouse, shortened deck lid, and widened track width.” And let’s not forget wider tires as well. This racing car is also symmetrical, which is supposed to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
Now, how does this apply to different racing tracks across the country? According to NASCAR reporter Davey Segal at Front Stretch, the Next Gen car could add some needed flair to otherwise “boring” tracks. Segal specifically referenced Richmond Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Dover Motor Speedway as ones that have dropped off in recent years.
But perhaps having the NASCAR Next Gen car at these tracks could take things up a notch. Segal said the Next Gen cars not only include “more horsepower and less downforce” but that they also “promote side-by-side racing.” The likes of which we haven’t seen from those three tracks recently, where races have become pretty routine.
The beauty of NASCAR and other competitions like it is that you never quite know what could happen next. And with a new car thrown in the mix, it could change up the way drivers approach the race and make them take different risks on the track. Including more side-by-side competition and testing of the reduced aerodynamic forces.
Problems with the NASCAR Next Gen Car: Flat Tires
While many racers and fans seem to appreciate the new changes with the NASCAR Next Gen car, others have noticed glaring issues. Primarily, the new tires lead to huge issues when they blow out or flatten.
The tires are wider but the body of the car sits lower on the track. So when the tires blow out, as drivers try to get back to pit lane, they’re scraping up the whole underbody of the car. Which could lead to further damage and issues for key parts. Even when the tow truck gets involved, the low bearing of the car still causes scraping when the tow truck tries to get it to the pit.
NASCAR officials even released a statement about the flat tire issues. According to the organization’s website, NASCAR VP of Officiating and Technical Inspection Elton Sawyer addressed drivers’ concerns with the Next Gen car.
“There’s ongoing conversations in meetings to be able to get to a better place on that,” Sawyer said in a video on the NASCAR website. “We made an adjustment last week at Auto Club Speedway to lead the drivers in and get them back to pit road. Our goal is not to put drivers out of the race. That’s not what we want.”
He added, “We want our stars to be able to perform. It’s just some learnings and we felt that we got to a decent place on Sunday to not let that be a storyline.”