So It’s A New Car –

February 24, 2022 by No Comments

We have heard about it for several years. The Next Gen car is going to save the teams a ton of money while making the racing so much better. Well, we have seen it twice now, and the reception is mixed, to say the least.

The first run at the L.A. Coliseum left many of us wondering if the thing was made of paper mache after some minor hits caused major damage. Meanwhile, this past weekend left us scratching our heads over the viability of low-profile tires on a racecar. In the end, it is just too early to tell.

One of the funniest parts of this past weekend’s Daytona 500 was the shock and awe expressed over the fact that the bottom of the car, as seen during Harrison Burton‘s flip, was flat and smooth. Twitter erupted over the fact, acting like no one had any clue that they were constructing the cars in that fashion. Does no one pay attention to what we write? It has been widely reported that the bottom of the car would be flat because teams were spending millions of dollars directing airflow in ways that they desired, underneath the cars.

The flat underside eliminated those expenditures while also making the cars more aero efficient. The outrage over the flat bottom was also evident from all of the aerodynamicists on social media who are confident that the flat bottom will do nothing but encourage cars to become airborne. Again, for those not paying attention, the bottom of an IndyCar is perfectly flat. The underside of a Daytona prototype is completely smooth. The underbelly of an F1 car is utterly a pancake. They have been for years and those cars rarely get airborne. The bottom of the car is flat because it makes the most sense financially and aerodynamically.

Let’s all take a breath.

As for parts and pieces, the jury is still out there as well. At the Clash, there were multiple drivers knocked out of the event by vigorously warming their tires. For decades, drivers have been dumping the clutch and spinning the rear tires to build up heat and, ultimately, increase the grip of the tires. Obviously, drivers are going to have to alter their techniques and the manufacturers are going to need to beef up the components. We also saw, late in the Clash, Kyle Larson send Justin Haley into the inside k-wall. The resulting damage looked like an IED went off under the left front of Haley’s car. The new composite body seemed to handle contact much better than the old body did but some of the other components clearly need some attention.

Speaking of components, there were a few issues with the tires and wheels at Daytona. Penske and RFK had wheels confiscated because NASCAR did not like modifications that were made to allow for them to mount more easily onto the car. Other teams modified their rims for the same reason. Penske did inform NASCAR that they were modifying the wheels but, for whatever reason, the sanctioning body had some concerns and confiscated the wheels. This will probably be an ongoing saga throughout the year as the wheels and single lug nut are fine-tuned.

The tires are new and different in 2022, with a huge emphasis on different. They are On 18-inch rims instead of 15-inch rims and the sidewalls are significantly thinner. As a result, there is no inner liner as there used to be on one mile and …….



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