NASCAR wrapped up its last-ever road course race with its current generation of cars yesterday. Today, the same teams and drivers are taking to the same track for the first-ever large-scale road course test with the so-called Next Gen car, the new-for-2022 racer NASCAR will use for the foreseeable future. Thanks to onboard cameras, we finally have a sense of what those cars look like in action.
This video, from Trackhouse Racing, shows its full-time driver Daniel Suarez getting used to the new car. Immediately, the car looks more modern than its predecessor. Floor-mounted pedals, a massive sequential shifter, and a glass dashboard carried over from the most modern iterations of the current car make for a galactic leap in just five years from what was once an analog interior highlighted by an H-pattern 4-speed shifter. Notably, despite the switch to a sequential box, Suarez is still lifting on all upshifts and blipping the throttle manually on all downshifts. Both of these behaviors are handled by ECU controls in sports cars and open wheelers with sequential transmissions.
The car seems to be more stable and to have significantly more rolling speed in corners, too. For comparison, this video of a lower-level Xfinity Series car at the same track shows that the older car was more unstable, particularly in the middle of corners. Visually, the cars seem much more naturally suited to the surprisingly technical infield road course layout than the oval-first stock cars they replace.
For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.