The NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen car has already shown vast amounts of change, and the changes might not be done quite yet.
Since NASCAR has unveiled plans for the Next Gen car, the “rebirth of stock” in stock car racing has become a major undertaking by the sport.
With NASCAR aiming to make the race cars look more like their showroom counterparts, design changes that will affect the racing have been implemented. Instead of the body of the car having the passenger side positioned out more than the driver side, both sides of the Next Gen car will be symmetrical.
Not only does this design imitate more of the showroom car that manufacturers provide to NASCAR; it also allows the cars to create more side force, changing the actual on-track racing product and not just the look of the car.
Additional design and fabrication changes will be made as well. The Next Gen car will have a carbon fiber body, as opposed to the traditional sheet metal. The Xfinity Series has already started to run carbon fiber bodies.
But despite all of the changes already coming to the Next Gen car, another design alteration may be in the works.
According to Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern, NASCAR is in talks to move the car numbers from the door more toward the front of the Next Gen car.
Breaking away from the tradition of having the number front and center, NASCAR seems to be entertaining the idea of moving it forward. This would allow more space for sponsors and possibly even other sponsors to come along with designs they didn’t feel that they could bring with a front and centered number.
Moving the side number is not something new for NASCAR, as it was first attempted during the 2020 All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway when it was moved back.
Though the underglow lights that were used in that All-Star Race won’t among the new changes, a change in number placement is likely.
While the 2021 season has been promoted as the “best season ever”, the 2022 season is setting up to be a season in which change will be crucial to the sport as it moves forward.