Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

7 BOLD Ideas to Improve NASCAR’s Next-Gen Car

Article Contents

Army Air Force Exchange Veterans Block

In This Article

Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

The Next-Gen car has done a lot of things right, but it has also has a lot of flaws. Some of these flaws have been fixed over the last year or so, but there are still a few ideas that we have to make the Next-Gen car just that much better.

1. Do NOT Touch the Intermediate Aero Package

This is more of a prerequisite than anything, but the vast majority of NASCAR fans agree that the intermediate track package is the best it has ever been. Races that were once dreaded by the fanbase are now races to look forward to, and the Next-Gen car has a lot to do with that.

NASCAR needs to make sure that they only touch the rules package surrounding the short tracks and road courses, because that is where this car struggles. IndyCar runs two entirely different rules packages depending on whether they are running on a road course or an oval, and NASCAR used to run two separate packages depending on the track between 2020 and 2021. Different tracks offer different challenges, and a “One size fits all” approach does not work with a racing product.

2. Make Certain Parts Less Durable

To be clear, I am not saying make certain parts and pieces break on the Next-Gen car, but what I am saying is to make the drivers manage the cars more. There is an argument that the Next-Gen car is a bit too durable, and it takes away from the product on track. The cars all fall off the same and the drivers are all driving at 100% throughout the race because there is no tire fall-off or car fall-off at all.

NASCAR should put it back in the driver’s hands and make them manage the car again. Make the car wear out a bit more throughout the day so that drivers have to manage that, and that is where you get things like comers and goers. Again, there is a fine line here as you do not want every piece of the Next-Gen car failing, but if you make certain pieces bend but not break, it could force drivers to manage part of the car.

3. 770 Horsepower on Short Tracks and Road Courses

This is a major wish, but short track and road course racing was at its’ best when horsepower was high. More horsepower means the car is tougher to control, which creates slipping and sliding on short tracks and road courses. It also increases the braking zones because the car’s top speed is higher.

It is the solution that many drivers have been clambering for on short tracks and road courses, and NASCAR should just do it. Yes, 670 horsepower may be more attractive to new manufacturers, but no new manufacturers are on the horizon.

4. Remove the Underbody on Short Tracks and Road Courses

The underbody creates a lot of downforce underneath the car, and that plays a role in why cars grip so well on short tracks and road courses. Removing the underbody will help take a lot of downforce on the car, which makes it harder to drive.

If the cars are planted into the track, it makes the traditional bump and run harder than in the past because the driver in front has more downforce to lean on. This is a big reason why races at places like Martinsville and Bristol have not been received as well with the Next-Gen car.

5. Decrease the Size of the Brakes on Short Tracks and Road Courses

As of right now, the brakes on the Next-Gen car are very big and very good. They are perhaps a bit too good at short tracks and road courses. The braking zones at tracks like road courses and short tracks are much smaller than they were previously, which makes it harder to pass.

If the brakes were made a bit smaller, or even if the brake pad was just made a bit smaller, the brakes have far less stopping power. This means it is easier to out-brake a car into corners, which leads to more passing for faster cars.

6. Alternate Tire compounds on Road Courses

IndyCar and Formula One races are dependent on tire strategy. The most recent IndyCar race at the Indianapolis Road Course is a great example of it. Tire wear is usually a big deal on certain race tracks, and that can bring forth interesting strategies.

Having a second tire compound out there gives teams a choice. Do you use a grippier tire early to get ahead, but you lose some time later in the race, or do you use the less grippy tire that lasts longer early? It opens up some interesting strategies, particularly for drivers who qualify further back in the field.

7. Decrease the Effect Tapered Spacer on Superspeedways for Qualifying

NASCAR cannot and should not go too far with this, but when the cars are only qualifying at around 180 miles per hour at Daytona or Talladega, it’s just not as interesting as it was in the past. The car’s speeds are plenty during the race, and superspeedway racing is as dangerous as it already is. However, it does take away an element of these cars going at speeds once only dreamed of on these types of tracks.

For the biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, in particular, decrease the effect of the tapered spacer to allow for faster speeds at Daytona and Talladega in qualifying. Daytona 500 qualifying should be a spectacle, and seeing the cars go close to 190 miles per hour would be fun to watch.

These are just a few ideas for the Next-Gen car, and it would be interesting to see how they affected the product. Could these changes work to mitigate some of the Next-Gen car’s flaws?

Share this:

Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts