NASCAR Cup Series Teams Still Making Changes to Next Gen Cars’ Setup

Significant alterations and minor tweaks on NASCAR’s Next Gen cars will continue the morning of Dec. 17, right up until the Cup Series drivers enter the track to further the experiments on the new technology.

During the week’s opening run at Charlotte on Dec. 15, nearly 20 teams participated in mock pack racing. The drivers lined up for 10 laps of green-flag racing as consistent tinkering continues with the Next Gen cars, hoping to duplicate the type of move Kyle Busch executed.

NASCAR Cup Series teams continue Next Gen car analysis at Charlotte Motor Speedway

The pack racing on Dec. 15 provided additional data on the NASCAR Cup Series teams’ ongoing research project to find a suitable package for the new cars while racing in a draft. New wheel and tire combinations were also scrutinized, according to fox46.com.

Drivers and crew chiefs will coordinate efforts on Dec. 17 to determine the correct horsepower for a 1.5-mile quad oval. On Dec. 15, most teams utilized two setups during the three mini sessions. Each segment featured a different aerodynamic and engine setup.

The first laps were run on a 550-horsepower engine with a seven-inch spoiler. The second set of laps was run with a 670-horsepower engine with a six-inch spoiler. The only change in the third set was offsetting the spoiler to the passenger side of the machine.

Kevin Harvick said the Next Gen cars need more horsepower, perhaps up to 1,000.

Additional tinkering on the Next Gen cars is the name of the game this offseason.

NASCAR crew chiefs and drivers have a long list of work left to do before the Clash at the Coliseum debut

The Wood Brothers Racing’s No. 21 Ford is getting analyzed in the garage area during NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Nov. 17, 2021, in Concord, North Carolina | Grant Halverson/Getty Images

There remains much work to do before the Next Gen cars make their competitive debut during Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

NASCAR officials know it. Crew chiefs know it. Drivers know it.

The preseason Next Gen checklist for crew chiefs remains daunting. Every curve of the car and every part of the engine needs to be studied, re-checked, and analyzed again.

For the true gearheads keeping track of all the alterations, NASCAR teams will study the effects of engine panel strakes, rear diffuser skirts, and splitter stuffers. According to nascar.com, team officials will also examine how the new components will aid pack driving.

For all collected data analyzed over the three days in North Carolina, one thing is for sure: The work is just beginning.

Next Gen cars will next undergo additional tests at Daytona

NASCAR announced on Dec. 16 that fans in Daytona, Florida, will have an opportunity to see the Next Gen cars up close and personal on Jan. 11.

The Daytona International Speedway, which will stage the next testing session, will be free and open to the public from noon to 8 p.m. to watch test runs during the first of a two-day session.

Frontstretch seating and the Fanzone area will be available for fans.

Among the Next Gen car alterations, some teams will focus on including streamlining designs. Other tests will be on driving on bigger wheels with just one lug nut, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

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