NASCAR Teams Sweating Global Supply-Chain Disorder, Entering 2022 Low on Next Gen Cars and Parts

NASCAR teams planned on having five new Next Gen racing machines ready before hitting the road for Daytona Beach, Florida, in a few weeks.

Most organizations will be fortunate to have two fully assembled cars, lucky to amass three.

The global supply-chain disorder is affecting NASCAR.

How bad will it get?

Richard Childress, like other NASCAR team owners, dealing with a shortage of racing parts

Team owner Richard Childress told foxsports.com he hoped to have five cars for Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick prepared to take out to the West Coast next month. 

Optimistic, perhaps. 

But Richard Childress Racing could be an outlier. 

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to plague the international supply chain, it’s affecting all walks of life, including professional stock car racing. 

As teams assembled for Next Gen car tests at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 11 and 12, most had two cars ready for racing and one under development. Some garages will not have five cars prepared until after the swing out West. 

COVID-19 is not entirely to blame. 

Following test runs at Daytona last year, drivers complained about handling and heating issues. The data was collected, and teams redesigned the cars and ordered new parts. 

Some arrived. Some remain on standby.

NASCAR VP on supply chain problems: ‘We’re not immune to the world’ 

NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kurt Busch, front, and Timmy Hill sit on pit road during Next Gen car testing on Jan. 12, 2022, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida | David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite the late redesigns, owners must now order most of the teams’ parts from NASCAR-approved vendors. And some have been slow to deliver this winter. Teams like Hendrick Motorsports assembled their machines from the chassis up in the past. Now, the new cost-cutting regulations are forcing pit-crew members to wait for the parts to arrive.

And wait … and wait …

“We’re not immune to the world,” Probst said. “We’re seeing with COVID and supply chains being delayed some of the distribution being delayed a little bit,” NASCAR Vice President John Probst told motorsports guru Bob Pockrass on Jan. 11.

The delays are causing some teams to sweat.

Not Team Penske driver Joey Logano. The 2018 premier series champion does not plan on breaking any of his aggressive racing maneuvers; supply chain be damned.

“That’s the position we’re all in,” Logano said. “It’s tight. Don’t crash.”

NASCAR teams have enough car parts for now but limited  

Logano didn’t mangle his machine during the recent Daytona sessions. He plans on using the test ride for the preseason exhibition, the Clash at the Coliseum, on Feb. 6.

If nothing happens between now and then.

Pit-crew chiefs likely will white-knuckle the final Next Gen car tests at Phoenix Raceway on Jan. 25-26. So close to the start of the season, the process of rebuilding a car could be challenging for Speedweeks.

“Right now, we don’t see any parts or pieces that are going to keep any car from racing in an event,” Probst said. “Time will tell. But right now, we’re concerned, but we’re not in a situation where folks are not going to be able to race.”

For now.

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