How “old school NASCAR” got Next Gen back on track – autosport.com

January 14, 2022 by No Comments

It was less than four months ago, during an interview at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Wilson said, “We’re all behind,” when it came to the development and testing of the new car.

At that point, NASCAR had conducted just one multi-car test at Daytona International Speedway, and that produced a list of new issues, including driver cockpit overheating and problems with the car’s steering.

Teams at that point were reluctant to build many new cars because of the number of changes that were being made to address the car’s performance with each passing test.

Wilson said the issues came to boiling point by the end of the 2021 season and manufacturers turned to NASCAR for help.

“Traditionally, NASCAR facilitates a test – whether it’s an organisational test, a tyre test – and by and large it’s left up to the organisations what they do and they’re told to go out and test. That had somewhat been the mentality in the development of the Next Gen car,” Wilson said.

“Clearly, because we were behind, because we had a lot of challenging issues, we needed to change that paradigm and we needed NASCAR to step forward with some leadership and some discipline.”

Wilson said NASCAR, team and manufacturer executives met during the annual post-season champion’s week in Nashville in late November to address the growing concerns and everyone had a chance to “vent.”

“I think it was one of those therapeutic things and was good for all of us. What came from that, was the two weeks of [additional] testing at Charlotte. And that was the best testing, the most organised, the most disciplined testing that we have seen with this new car,” Wilson said.

“And surprise – not – we came away feeling really good about our intermediate package. We have covered a lot of ground since Las Vegas last year. This week we saw the same thing at Daytona and we feel really good about our superspeedway package.”

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Ground and David Wilson

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Teams and drivers are finding that it’s a much different car with which they will compete this season, but it races in some familiar ways.

“Here is what we are going through collectively. The car is different, it feels different, it sounds different, the feeling in your butt is different because it is a completely new car,” Wilson said.

“However, what has been the same here in Daytona is there’s a draft, you can play with it, you can move the car around on track with a reasonable amount of comfort and you can drive from the back to the front and set up passes.”

Asked if he believed the more direct NASCAR involvement over the last month-and-a-half was welcome, Wilson said: “It was more than welcome – it was needed. It was a little bit of the old school NASCAR. We needed them to tell us what to do.

“We’re all in this data collection mode right now and the more credible data we can …….

Source: https://www.autosport.com/nascar/news/how-old-school-nascar-got-next-gen-back-on-track/7274279/

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