DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - We're still a few weeks away from NASCAR starting up the season for the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway, but fans still came out to see the next-generation car.
Driver's also got to test the cars on the Speedway track for the first time.
"Anything you got new, you've got to go through a learning curve," said Richard Childress, NASCAR team owner, "and I think we're going to be going through that for a few races. But I think as we run it and NASCAR makes some adjustments, it's even going to be better."
NASCAR Next Gen Test at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 11, 2022. [FOX 35 Sports]
NASCAR held a similar event last month at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Todd Gilliland, driver of the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, and Justin Haley, driver of the #31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jar
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Team Penske Ford, race during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Ja
Drivers wait to start testing during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott drives the #9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
In the past, when NASCAR has made changes and brought in a different race car, it's obviously been an adjustment for the drivers. These next few days of testing at Daytona are hugely valuable because this version of the new car is completely different.
"I mean, it's everything," said NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick. "The only thing left that you can bring from the old car is a seat, your insert, and the steering wheel. Everything else is completely different. So it's been a very big learning adjustment, learning curve, and with the limited testing that we've had, it's going to make the test days that we do have here at Phoenix coming up very important for how the season starts."
These cars get on the track for their first official practice during Speed Weeks on February, 15.
NASCAR provided this information below regarding the look and components of the Next Gen Car:
Next Gen Car Looks
- The Next Gen car has given manufacturers greater latitude to incorporate features into the race car body that better replicate the look and feel of the street car.
- A sleek new design has lowered the greenhouse, shortened the deck lid, and widened the track width of the car giving it more of a coupe look.
- The body is fully symmetrical which will reduce aerodynamic forces and put an emphasis back on race car setup and driver control. The new composite material is more durable and will allow more beating and banging without loss of performance.
- New 18″ forged aluminum wheels and wider Goodyear tires better replicate what is found on passenger cars and will allow for softer tire compounds.
Next Gen Car Components
- Upgraded specs to match modern passenger vehicle technology including independent rear suspension, rack, and pinion steering, and larger brakes.
- A new transaxle combines the transmission and rear gears into one package with an eye on the future – the ability to incorporate electrification.
- The bottom of the car is sealed with an underwing and rear diffuser which will help with handling in traffic and reduce "dirty air."
- Hood louvers will allow teams to maximize engine performance independent of aerodynamics.
- A redesigned chassis features new front and rear bumpers for increased safety. Both the front and rear clips bolt onto the center section for easier serviceability and damage repair.
- Upgraded car connectivity will allow for an in-car camera in every vehicle, with the ability to bring fans more real-time data in the future.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest launch updates.