NASCAR's 2021 Next Gen prototype to begin track testing

Image by Kinrade/LAT

NASCAR's 2021 Next Gen prototype to begin track testing

NASCAR

NASCAR's 2021 Next Gen prototype to begin track testing

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NASCAR will test its seventh-generation race car, or Next Gen as it’s being called, Tuesday and Wednesday at Richmond Raceway.

Austin Dillon will drive the car, which has been built by Richard Childress Racing. The test is not open to the public or media.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps confirmed the test during an appearance on “NASCAR America” on NBCSN Monday night. Because manufacturers are still working on their individual body styles, the car Dillon will drive will have a generic body that fits NASCAR’s parameters. The test is more of a first look at the basics of the car, including the 18-inch wheels the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will begin using when the car debuts in 2021.

“We are very excited about where things are with this Next Gen car,” said Phelps. “We are on time for a 2021 rollout. It’s going to be exciting to get it on track. We were in the wind tunnel last week, and so having a test at Richmond tomorrow and Wednesday — it’s kind of the culmination of a lot of work that’s been done by our race teams, our OEM partner (and) by the folks at NASCAR, to put this on the racetrack.

“This particular car was built by Richard Childress and his folks, and it won’t have the design of the Chevy, Ford, and Toyota, but it will kind of be an opportunity to shake down the car. We’re really excited to get it on the racetrack.”

Earlier this year, officials used the All-Star race — a non-points event at Charlotte Motor Speedway — to try some aerodynamic elements they are looking at incorporating in the new car. Teams ran a single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan that is expected to improve the ride height sensitivity. The other piece was the radiator ducts exiting through the hood of the car.

An emphasis on the Next Gen car has been brand identity and a correlation between production streetcars and the race car.

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