The Cup Series teams are not the only ones with new vehicles for the 2022 season. NASCAR has unveiled body changes for the Camping World Truck Series that will take effect with the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.
The sanctioning body released the first look at the 2022 Ford F-150 on Thursday, Sept. 23. This is not a “Next Gen” vehicle with sweeping changes like in the Cup Series, but there will be some differences. The noses and tails look more like the production model vehicles available in showrooms around the country. Additionally, the new portions of the body will consist of a strong composite material while the remainder will be sheet metal.
“We had opened up a lot more areas for the OEMs to basically implement their DNA into the race truck,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of innovation and racing development, per NASCAR Media. “As part of that, though, we wanted to make sure that from a performance perspective, we keep parity on the race track. If you look at the Truck Series now, that’s some of the best racing we have going on. First and foremost, we didn’t want to hurt that, so we actually used the performance of the current truck for the new truck with additional character to them. While they have a lot more character from our process, from a performance perspective, the parity will still be really good in the Truck Series.”
While the sanctioning body provided a look at the 2022 Ford F-150, it held back the other two designs. NASCAR will unveil the new Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra bodies at a later date. Interestingly, there is no mandatory switch to the new bodies. NASCAR noted that the current designs will remain eligible for competition in order to help teams manage costs but noted that the sanctioning body would like to see all of the teams with the 2022 bodies next season.
NASCAR Used a Flashy Video to Unveil the New Design
Simply showing the new Ford F-150 with some photos was one option, but NASCAR went a different route when unveiling the first of the three new bodies. The sanctioning body and Ford Performance enlisted the help of a rookie Truck Series driver and showed the vehicle at full speed.
The clip showed Hailie Deegan, the driver of the No. 1 David Gilliland Racing Ford F-150, pull up to a shop in her Ford Mustang. She then used a Ford F-150 Lightning to tow the new race vehicle — covered with a sheet — to a local track.
Deegan wasted no time, climbing into the 2022 Ford F-150 and taking several laps around the track. The clip showed brief flashes of the vehicle in action but didn’t fully provide an up-close look at the entire thing. Deegan only did so when she used the Lightning’s power outlet to turn on some track lights.
The Design Process Took Several Months
According to the information provided by NASCAR, the teams actually began discussing making changes to the body back in September 2020. The three primary manufacturers began the submission process and followed the OEM Body Approval Process in the NASCAR Rule Book. The three new bodies all passed the wind tunnel test on the very first try and set the stage for the big changes.
Probst explained that two of the three manufacturers — he did not reveal which ones — were contemplating making changes to the bodies before official conversations began. The discussions became more serious as the release of the Cup Series Next Gen cars approached.
“We said why don’t we just take this opportunity to take some of the lessons that we learned on the Next Gen to open a lot more of the truck to OEM characteristics and that’s where we landed,” Probst added. “We got all three [manufacturers] on board. They were excited to go ahead and do that and take advantage of the opportunity to bring even more of the production truck to the race track.”