NASCAR teams take stock after first multi-car next gen test

NASCAR and Goodyear have completed two days of testing with Next Gen Cars at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, and things are on the way to work ahead of the 2022 season.

In addition to working with Goodyear to develop a suitable tire, NASCAR also focused on the speed of the cars. After the runs on Tuesday, officials changed the tapered spacer, making it smaller, and the rear spoiler was also reduced to seven inches. Those changes put the cars in the 510-horsepower range.

“Today he had the desired effect; We slowed the cars down a bit,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing innovation. “The response from the drivers was that it wasn’t a radical change from one to the next, so we feel like we now have That’s data to evaluate coming back here.”

William Byrne said the drivers became aggressive in the second drafting session. In the eight-car pack, Byrne said everyone was “quite comfortable”.

As for speed, Byrne said, “It feels a little slow. You have a little more time to think at the speedway. But I like it. I think it makes you think more about the moves.”

The drivers were tested with the next gen cars designed by the team. All previous tests were with NASCAR prototypes or manufacturer-built cars.

“The biggest difference from day to day was the package we went in with smaller spoilers and less horsepower,” said Ross Chastain of Chip Ganassi Racing. “I thought it was worse for mobility and to be able to run, but there were only eight of us, so it was hard to build up any speed as it is. I think even with our current car This will happen.

“I think a little more horsepower and a bigger spoiler, something to make the hole in the back of the car bigger…, as we can’t do now. Granted, I guess if you have 40 cars, you can catch going; you’re being pushed up there. We did some tandem drafting – some guys did more than me, but I did a little bit. Even with the round bumpers, we were all pretty cautious, but it was possible. Now, You hit really hard with a round bumper, it’s probably not going to be really good. Things we’ve just got to learn.”

Chris Bucher of Roush Fenway Racing said the steering is “faster” than anything he’s driven before. And inside the car, he is in sync with the rearview camera.

If everyone has agreed after a few days of rolling around Daytona, it’s that unlocking the secrets of the Next Gen car will be a lengthy process. James Gilbert/Getty Images

“Inside, we’re working on getting some stuff out to make it a little more comfortable,” Buscher said. “The rearview camera is something that’s really neat there, learned a lot about it in runs and drafting runs there. You can actually see a lot more than you’re used to. I used the camera a lot , and spotter up on the roof to know where the cars are and how close they really are. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear; it’s even on a still camera. applies. So we’re still trying to figure that out.”

Buscher also brought up another area he believes NASCAR needs to address before next season: heat inside the race car. Probst acknowledged that it needed to be worked on, and said the series took “big swings” during the afternoon session to find a direction.

“It’s very hot, so we’re trying to cool it down,” Buscher said. “We have a few different hose configurations, so we’re going through those to try to reduce some of the heat. Plus, once you’re stuck in that, it’s like any other race car.” Doesn’t seem different at all.”

Buscher and Denny Hamlin agree that while fundamentals don’t change from race car to race car, there are nuances to learn.

“Your approach is a little different,” Hamlin said. “Transfer is going to be different, especially when you go to the road course. So, you want to get as many reps as possible to learn it. Any chance I can get into this to get better used to it will be better for me. “

“I would say it’s like jumping into the unknown,” Cole Custer said. “There’s a lot of things you don’t know what it’s going to be like. The way we race is rethinking a lot. We’re going at things we never would have thought we could. Might go with another car. Just a lot of sorting through things. I think it was great to be involved in the draft and see what’s similar and what’s different.”

Other drivers in the test were Austin Dillon, Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Daytona was also the first time more than two cars were on the track at the same time.

“We obviously have a list of things to work on when we get out of here,” Probst said. “We will probably be back here in January and do another Test with more teams, it is an important track for us to get right. We will have a good number of teams, probably 26 or more.”

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