Nascar’s Next Gen Car So Far Delivering What It Promised – Forbes

April 30, 2022 by No Comments

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – APRIL 03: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Navage Nasal Care Ford, … [+] Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 SiriusXM Toyota, and Tyler Reddick, driver of the #8 Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 03, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

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There were a lot of unknowns prior to the debut of NASC
R’s Next Gen racecar this season. The radical new car, delayed a year due to the pandemic, was designed with new innovations for the top tier Cup series; innovations that bring the car closer to its modern street counterparts. In addition to new safety advances, and new technology such as independent rear suspension, rack and pinon steering and larger brakes, the car features some universal parts that are single sourced.

The idea for single sourced parts came from NASCAR’s desire to not only to control costs but are an attempt to bring more parity to the sport. The previous generation racecar allowed teams a great deal more latitude when it came to modifications. This gave the larger, and better funded, teams an advantage on the track. With the advent of single sourced parts, teams have fewer areas they can modify, thus getting the sport the parity it seems to have been missing for quite some time.

Michael McDowell drives for Front Row Motorsports, a small two car team in the Cup series. McDowell won the 2021 Daytona 500, the last Daytona 500 for the previous generation racecar. While his win was an upset in some ways, given the nature of superspeedway racing, and the chaotic last laps that often occur, first time winners aren’t unheard of there.

McDowell would go on to finish third later in the season at the Cup series other superspeedway race at Talladega but would finish outside the top 15 in 34 of the 36 races last season. All in all, it was an average year for the team.

So far, in the 10 points paying races run with the Next Gen car this season McDowell has scored three top 10 finishes, the best start to a season, not including the 2021 Daytona 500 win, he’s ever had.

“I think there’s a lot of potential with this Next Gen car for us to have more good results and be in contention,” he said. “We were optimistic about that going into this season that this could be a year for us to really have an opportunity to shine and get better results.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 14: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, … [+] celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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“I think there’s still a lot to come this year and I’m looking forward to some of the tracks that we have circled and seeing where we can stack up against the competition. There’s a tremendous amount of development going on right now and there seems to be teams that are sorting it out pretty quickly, so we have to make sure that we keep up with the rapid pace of development of a brand-new …….



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