Fast muscle cars, large SUVs / pick-up trucks, and loud cruiser bikes. These three may perhaps best describe some of America's favorite machines for the open road. But when it comes to motorsports, there is only one that defines the Land of The Free, stock-car racing.
Come 2021, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) will soon introduce an all-new stock car for the competition to use...and here is your first look at it. While still in its prototype stage, the next-generation stock car looks vastly different from the cars teams are fielding today.
Starting with the body alone, the upcoming car features wider wheels and tires, a more sculpted body design with a more coupe-like shape, a shorter rear spoiler and a raised splitter for better aerodynamics. And since it lacks the headlight stickers and decal sponsors, the next-gen car looks somewhat futuristic to look at, particularly when viewed at the front.
As the next-gen car is still undergoing prototype testing, there are no exact details yet as to what powers the new NASCAR vehicle. However, they did mention that it now has larger brakes, which according to 2018 NASCAR series champion Joey Logano, delivered better stopping power but had a different steering feel.
“When the car gets loose with this Next Gen car, it doesn’t come back until the driver steers the car back — it doesn’t fix itself. And that puts it more in the driver’s hands. And I like that piece. It’s going to be challenging, but I think you’ll see more mistakes on the race track which makes, in my opinion, better racing, and more passing opportunities,” said Logano.
With the officials trying out different types of aerokits, tires, wheels, and even spoilers for the next-gen prototype, the car still has a long way before teams will get to try their hands on one. But the fact that they are already busy testing the new car out before 2021 speaks just how excited they are to have it out on race track soon.
We may not yet know what exactly makes the new NASCAR tick, but what we're sure of is that it will still have a howling V8 to drive as it passes the checkered flag in Daytona, New Hampshire, as well as in Pocono.