NASCAR Cup Series teams will finally start taking delivery of the Next Gen chassis later this week.
The series confirmed on Monday that initial chassis delivery will begin after competition officials spoke last week with an independent panel of experts about the results of recent crash testing.
The panel included Dr. James Raddin, who took part in the investigation of the death of the late Dale Earnhardt; Dr. Jeff Crandall, who serves as an engineering consultant to the NFL; Dr. Barry Myers, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University; and Dr. Joel Stitzel, chair of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest Baptist Health. NASCAR said it was “pleased” with those discussions as they pertained to data on the car’s safety.
The panel of safety experts reviewed the data from the crash test at Talladega on June 30, which included the use of a crash test dummy. A memo sent to teams on July 4 said in part, “preliminary review of the dummy data from the test indicates good and comparable performance when compared to the other right frontal dummy data” from non-Next Gen vehicles.
Rumors had been circulating that the Next Gen car performed poorly in the crash test. Stewart-Haas Racing driver Chase Briscoe went so far as to reply ‘yes’ to a Reddit thread about how the test would have been fatal if it occurred in a real-life race. That prompted NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller to tell SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last week there was “a lot of fiction” about the car.
The Next Gen car is set to debut at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 2022.