NASCAR Might Be Abandoning Its Low Horsepower Dream


NASCAR Might Be Abandoning Its Low Horsepower Dream

When NASCAR announced its low horsepower, high downforce competition package for intermediate ovals ahead of the 2019 season, the goal seemed to be a pack-like racing style. NASCAR hoped that the lower speeds would bunch cars up, forcing them to pass through a draft effect as they do on plate tracks at Daytona and Talladega. While cars did run most laps flat out, those packs never materialized. Cars that got near leaders saw their runs destroyed by an innate “dirty air” effect, one that slowed the trailing car and made passing nearly impossible in some races. The series hoped that its new car, the one it will introduce as the Next Gen car in 2022, would solve the problem with its symmetrical aerodynamics.

Through one large-scale test at an intermediate, the results seemed to be worse. It required a large-scale rethinking of the entire intermediate process, one that forced a NASCAR that has been attempting to double down on the low horsepower concept every year since it debuted to look back in the opposite direction. In another Charlotte test this week, the series tested its current package at a moderate 670 horsepower. The results were encouraging on day one, so testing teams spent all of day two testing with just variants of the 670 horsepower package. NASCAR president Steve O’Donnell was pleased, later indicating to RACER that this is the likely setup teams will use in 2022.

For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.

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