NASCAR is currently working on wholesale changes for the 2021 car. Itâs going to be wildly different than what we see today.
NASCAR is trying to get back to âstockcarâ. Currently, the cars are crude. Truck arm suspensions arenât seen on any showroom floor. Additionally, most models offer some form of hybrid technology.
The 2021 Next Gen racecar has been on the track. Austin Dillon concluded the test in October at Richmond Raceway.
Beyond engines and suspensions, the cars are set to see a drastic body shift. They will come with a two step front splitter and a rear defuser.
The bodywork themselves is a total mystery. We havenât seen any of that to date. The car that ran the test featured a generic body. All the manufactures are currently at work on their bodies for 2021 but you can expect them to look more like their showroom equivalents.
With the 2019 season in the rear view mirror, letâs talk 2021 NASCARâŠ
F1 has traditionally been the most expensive form of motorsports. It still is. But, for 2021 series officials will enforce a spending cap. NASCAR has their eyes on that as well.
âI think reasons to go to this new car, one is to take what is great racing, will be great racing in 2020, to create better racing.Â I think this new car will do that, this Next Gen car,â NASCAR President Steve Phelps commented.
âAnother component certainly is around relevance. Our partners were here looking at the showroom car or the street car versus what our racecar will look like. Itâs going to be extraordinary. â
âWe are going to put the âstockâ back in stockcar.â
âThe last component of that is to try to make sure that the costs associated with the car are not such that they just continue to escalate on that car.â
âWhether we are going to have a cost cap moving forward, I donât know.Â It is not an easy thing to do.Â We want to make sure that we have competitive racing.Â When the race starts, we want as many folks and drivers to win that race as they can.â
âLots of work to do on what we would do, whether we would have a cost cap or not.Â But it is something that we continue to work with our race teams on to make sure that we are having competitive race teams and race teams that are profitable.â
âWeâre going to see, right?Â Weâre going to see how it works with F1.Â A little bit of a waitâandâsee approach on that.â
âIt is not an easy thing to do, right?Â How are you going to make sure the costs are being captured fairly and smartly across the race teams?Â It is a slippery slope.Â
Phelps added, âIt doesnât mean that itâs not a good step or it doesnât mean weâre not going to get there.Â It means that weâre going to study it very closely.â
âWeâre going to study what theyâre doing, continue to work with our teams to make sure whatever we do moving forward makes the most sense for our sport.â
âSo, yes, the car is on schedule, as I said.Â With that said, weâre going now through an RFP [request for proposal] process, RFPing different parts of the car.â
âThere are parts that fans donât frankly care weâre competing, and other parts fans care weâre competing.Â Also our OEM partners, certain things they want to compete at, certain things they donât care about.â
âWeâre in the RFP process.Â Weâre on the track already at Richmond.Â We have another test coming up in a couple of weeks.â
âWhen the teams will take delivery of that car, probably in the July time frame of when the cars will start to be delivered. I have to give a shout out to, again, really the entire industry because theyâre working collaboratively, working together.â
âNASCAR runs the process, but there are teams that are involved, OEMs that are involved, and thatâs how weâre going to be successful moving forward.â
âWith respect to those that are in the RFPs to build the car, I donât want to get into specifics about where that is.Â There would obviously need to be a separation between that race team and whatever either part or the vehicle itself thatâs being put together.â
âIf there is a team that is interested in competing for what thatâs going to be, it would have to be kind of removed from what that organization is, if that makes sense.â
âI do think for a new engine, that engine will have some type of electrification, some hybrid that will be part of it.Â Itâs kind of a follow up to the question, in fact, I know for a fact we will not have a new OEM unless we change our engine.â
âThis engine is going to sound significantly the same as whatever the current engine is.Â Weâre not going to have a bunch of electric cars going around.Â Thatâs not what this is about.â
âItâs about having a relevant engine to our OE partners, both the existing Ford, Chevy and Toyota, as well as whoever the new OEMs that weâre looking at.â
âSome form of hybrid, some form of electrification is going to be required, whether itâs stored engine or whatever that might be is down the line.â
âBut ideally creating a single engine package as opposed to taking an engine and kind of choking the horsepower down, is something that I believe we will ultimately get to.ââ
Currently, NASCAR uses a tapered spacer to cut airflow to the engine. Tracks over a mile, run the restricted engine package at 550hp. Tracks under a mile run unfiltered at 750hp.
âWhat that looks like frankly will be a discussion between ourselves and our existing OEs because we need to make sure we are taking care of them first and foremost before we get a new OEM into the garage.Â They have been incredibly supportive of that.â
âWeâve had a couple of different partners come to the racetrack.Â We had some last week.Â We had a group that came when we were at Talladega.â
âEach of the OEs showed them what they do, this is what Ford does, this is what we do at GM, this is what we do at Toyota.Â Thatâs incredibly helpful.Â They, too, want to be able to compete on the racetrack with other OEMs.â