The next generation of NASCAR is nearly here. The sanctioning body has signed off on the Next Gen car and set a delivery date for the chassis. Teams should begin receiving their respective models and car parts by the end of the week. Though NASCAR did not clarify if the target date is officially July 23.
According to a memo distributed by NASCAR, Technique Chassis, LLC of Concord, NC, will be the official vendor for the Next Gen chassis. The company will begin sending the new Ford Mustang, Toyota Camry, and Chevrolet Camaro to the respective charters, providing them with the opportunity to prepare for the 2022 season.
The new stock cars will feature the styling of their showroom counterparts, providing the appearance that everyday cars are taking on NASCAR’s toughest circuits. The bodies will be wider and will feature lower greenhouses and shortened deck lids.
The Distribution Follows an Independent Review of Safety
Prior to the announcement that the teams would begin receiving the Next Gen chassis, NASCAR faced questions about the overall safety of the vehicle. Rumors surfaced surrounding a test at Talladega Superspeedway that allegedly “killed” a crash test dummy.
According to “Jalopnik,” representatives from NASCAR said that the rumors of the dummy’s demise were completely false. However, the questions continued on social media and on Reddit, so NASCAR issued a lengthy memo about the crash tests and the findings. The AP’s Jenna Fryer obtained a copy, which said in part that “preliminary review of the dummy data from the test indicates good and comparable performance when compared to other right frontal dummy data (non-NG).”
NASCAR added that an independent panel would review the data from the Talladega crash test and would provide its findings to the media. Per “Motorsport.com,” This group consisted of Dr. James Raddin, Dr. Jeff Crandall, Dr. Barry Myers, and Dr. Joel Stitzel.
Dr. Raddin helped investigate the date of Dale Earnhardt while Dr. Crandall is an engineering consultant to the NFL. Dr. Myers is a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University and Dr. Stitzel is the chair of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest Baptist Health.
The independent panel conducted its review and submitted the findings to NASCAR. According to the memo, the sanctioning body is “pleased with the assessments.” The review was the final step remaining before NASCAR could begin distributing the chassis.
NASCAR Will Provide More Information in the Near Future
While the independent review opened the door for NASCAR to begin distributing parts to its race teams, the sanctioning body still has more work to do. Several more tests will take place prior to the end of 2021 so drivers and teams can see how the Next Gen cars react to each other on the track. All previous tests occurred with a limited number of vehicles.
Additionally, NASCAR will take time after the two-week break for the Olympics to provide more information about the safety of the Next Gen car. The sanctioning body will hold a formal session involving drivers and teams to answer questions about the crash tests and the subsequent analysis.
For now, however, the teams will focus on getting the parts in the building and setting up the chassis. This way, they can plan for the 2022 season and how to find any possible advantage on the various ovals and road courses.