NASCAR doesn't want Next Gen car to be "easy to drive"

NASCAR wasn’t hiding its pleasure hearing several drivers talking about the difficulty of driving the Next Gen car at the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval test.

Listen to this article

In fact, you could say it was music to their ears.

“Yes, certainly,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing innovation. “We don’t want the cars to be easy to drive. We’ve always said we want the best drivers running up front.

“I think if you look at a lot of the changes that we’ve made to the car, a lot of the side-force that used to be in the car is gone so it’s not as forgiving as its been before.

“You saw some of that (Wednesday) morning.”

Read Also:

Austin Dillon wrecked in Turns 1 and 2 early Wednesday and a handful of cars spun out on the track without damage, including Denny Hamlin and new Cup Series champion Kyle Larson.

Drivers such as Alex Bowman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. talked Wednesday about the difficulty of adjusting to the new car, particularly the lack of side-force that comes from the bigger 18-inch wheels, larger tire sidewalls and the symmetrical shape of the car.

“I’m not saying those incidents were all car, but definitely the cars are a bit edgier,” Probst said. “I expect over time we’ll see through the set-ups that will get better.

“Certainly with the lack of side-force, that will be something (the drivers) will have to get used to with respect to how the car drives, how it recovers and if it’s loose, how far you can let it go before it slides.”

Wednesday’s reported speeds from the test were about 1.5 to 2 seconds off the pace of this year’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.

While the speeds were slower – and the lower horsepower noticed by drivers – the differences in the Next Gen car still altered the ability of drivers to push the car to its limits.

Stenhouse said the speeds felt “pretty slow … but when you do have a moment, it actually almost feels like you’re going faster.”

Probst said NASCAR would reduce the size of the rear spoilers during Thursday’s test from 8 to 7 inches to evaluate the corresponding change in speeds (which should be faster).

Right now, Probst said a change made to the cars prior to this test – the addition of rear window vents to address a heating issue that arose in a previous test at Daytona – are adding drag and slowing the cars.

“We’ll run that and see where it gets us,” he said.

shares
comments

Related video

NASCAR Next Gen car 'a new challenge' on Charlotte oval
Previous article

NASCAR Next Gen car 'a new challenge' on Charlotte oval

Next article

NASCAR teams try to 'find that edge' with Next Gen car

NASCAR teams try to 'find that edge' with Next Gen car
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021