NASCAR: How Next-Gen Cars Will Be Set Up for Road-Course Races

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR has been busy this season with its Next-Gen cars out on the tracks, and now a road course will be their newest obstacle. Circuit of the Americas in Texas is a road course, so there are going to be new challenges awaiting everyone. Just how will these Next-Gen cars be set up for road-course races?

NASCAR Next-Gen Car Faces Big Test On Road Course

This will be the NASCAR Next-Gen road course debut for the car. The car started the season on a variety of ovals. It will be a test for this Cup Series car as teams look to take advantage of some new features. They include independent rear suspensions and increased braking capacity. These will make it compatible with courses where they will turn both left and right.

Cars will have different suspension setups from what has been there in recent weeks. The base cars will not be based on unique chassis; instead, they will have different pieces bolted onto the same suspension uprights that teams have used on the ovals this year.

Meanwhile, the most notable, visible difference between oval racing and road-course racing is the camber of the wheels. Camber is defined as the angle of the wheel in relation to the car when viewed from the front. Negative camber is when a wheel is leaning inward; positive camber is when a wheel is leaning outward.

Oval tracks have positive camber on the left side and negative camber on the right. The road course configurations have negative camber on both sides. The right side of the car is set up for negative camber on both ovals and road courses. Most of the parts there can be used on both types of tracks. We get more about this from NASCAR.

Pay Attention To How Suspension Upright Assembly Will Work

Pay attention to the suspension upright assembly on the Next-Gen car. It happens to be the centerpiece of each corner of the suspension and it is what other suspension components and the brakes bolt up to.

This upright is a sealed component that the wheel mounts to and is a part that is the same for all courses. It gets adapted for ovals and road courses based on a unique Ackermann bracket that gets bolted up to the top of it.

These components on the upright allow for unique toe link and control arm combinations for each type of track. It is a cost-effective method that allows more expensive components, such as the suspension upright, to be reused for a variety of tracks with just some bracketry changes.