NASCAR teams facing Next Gen car shortage before Daytona –

January 14, 2022 by No Comments

By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports NASCAR Writer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The concern is real. Wreck a couple of race cars early in the 2022 season, and a driver or team might have to scramble to have a car ready for a race as the NASCAR Cup Series transitions to the Next Gen car.

What’s also real? Most drivers get paid not to care about that.

When there is a trophy, a big check and a playoff spot on the line, drivers typically don’t hesitate to push a car to its limits. 

But as the 2022 season quickly approaches, teams are getting nervous. The Busch Clash is a little more than three weeks away (Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), and Daytona 500 practice begins in less than five weeks (Feb. 15).

NASCAR originally believed that teams would have five cars (for each car number they field) completed by the start of the season, but teams at the Daytona test Tuesday and Wednesday indicated that they had just two completed cars, with a third being assembled. Team owners seemed to believe that they won’t have five completed cars until closer to the end of February.

What happened? As teams discovered handling and heat issues in testing last fall and after NASCAR conducted additional safety tests, NASCAR tweaked several parts and pieces. That delayed the delivery of main components to teams.

Supply issues for vendors — teams must purchase all major parts and pieces (except the engine) from approved vendors, unlike with previous cars that teams manufactured — have also slowed completion. It can take an organization a couple of weeks or more to assemble a car.

NASCAR Vice President John Probst said Tuesday that NASCAR still believes every team will have five center chassis and seven front and rear clips by the week of the Daytona 500. How many cars will be fully assembled, though, appears uncertain.

“We’re not immune to the world,” Probst said. “We’re seeing with COVID and supply chains being delayed some of the distribution being delayed a little bit.

“Right now, we don’t see any parts or pieces that are going to keep any car from racing in an event. … Time will tell. But right now, we’re concerned, but we’re not in a situation where folks are not going to be able to race.”

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