How safe are Nascar racing cars

NASCAR: New generation of cars for 2022

Europeans like to see the NASCAR series as technically backward. And not without good reason if you compare the cars with modern GT racing cars. But in the US races, which are mostly held on oval courses, completely different qualities are required. With more than 35 events per year, where the paint is replaced practically every minute, the vehicles must above all be easy to maintain and repair.

Keeping costs low was also a priority when developing the latest NASCAR generation. The vehicles with which the pilots will compete in the premier class - the so-called Cup Series - from 2022 were ceremoniously presented on Wednesday (May 5th) at the NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte. The three manufacturers Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota presented their next generation of racing cars together.

The biggest changes affect less the technology, but more the optics. In the future, the new cars will resemble their series brothers more closely in order to increase their recognition value and thus also their marketing potential. In the front section in particular, the engineers are given more freedom to adapt the design to the series vehicles.

NASCAR
When designing the front section, the three manufacturers now have more design freedom.

NASCAR cars with a series look

In addition to the new grills and air intakes, the bumpers also received a modified splitter that protrudes higher in the central area than on the outside. This allows more air to flow under the car. The smaller passenger cell and the short rear also make the silhouette more reminiscent of the street models. Incidentally, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Ford Mustang and the Toyota Camry served as templates.

A step towards series relevance was also taken with the rims. While NASCAR racing cars have always been on the road with balloon tires on tiny 15-inchers, the rim diameter has increased to a befitting 18-inch with the new generation of cars. The cross-section of the tires was then reduced to match.

The central lock with which the wheels are attached is also new. With that, the NASCAR series also loses one of its most iconic features. Until now, the mechanics always had to laboriously loosen five individual nuts per wheel during pit stops and then tighten them again in order to supply the driver with fresh rubber. The central locking should significantly accelerate the handling in the future.

NASCAR
Larger rims with central locking: the NASCAR series breaks with tradition.

Bigger brakes, more downforce

There is finally space behind the larger wheels for larger brake discs, which is primarily for safety. In the few races on normal racetracks where there are right and left curves, the drivers in the past had to struggle with stability problems when decelerating their 1.5-ton stock cars.

With the new wheels, modifications to the damping and a wider track went hand in hand. On the rear axle, the two-meter-wide racing cars finally also have a modern independent wheel suspension. Incidentally, all technical components come from standard equipment suppliers, which ensures equal opportunities and low costs.

Something has also changed in terms of aerodynamics. The now completely clad underbody ends in a diffuser in the rear. Up until now, cars had almost exclusively generated their downforce on the drive axle via a spoiler lip on the (non-opening) trunk lid. With an output of more than 800 hp produced by the 5.7 liter naturally aspirated V8 engines, every bit of additional liability is of course welcome.

In the gallery we show you the three new NASCAR cars from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.