The NASCAR season-opening Clash race will be held on a temporary track built in the L.A. Coliseum in 2022. The exhibition race features around 20 of the top drivers.
NASCAR tested the Next Gen car in pack racing scenarios at Daytona. (NASCAR)
The teams engaged in a variety of scenarios including single car laps, tandem drafts and pack racing with their engines tuned to 510 hp and seven-inch rear spoilers installed to restrict speeds.
Seventeen cars participated in the Next Gen test at Daytona. (David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NASCAR initially planned to also test a six-inch spoiler, but was pleased with the results of the seven-inch test, which delivered lap speeds about a second off last year’s pole time, and will use the setup at Daytona, Talladega and the redesigned Atlanta ovals this year.
NASCAR has settled on a superspeedway package that combines a 510 hp engine and seven-inch spoiler. (David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
“We don’t have them quite handling the way we want yet,” Team Penske driver Joey Logano said after the session. “They’re pretty new still to us. Bumping and shoving gets the cars moving around a whole lot and Kurt, myself, Denny and Ricky [Stenhouse] we were out there shoving each other pretty hard and racing like we were trying to win the Daytona 500.”
The cars were lapping in the 48- to 48.5-second range, but NASCAR’s head of racing innovation, Steve Probst said he expects them to get faster as the teams become more familiar with the cars.
The NASCAR Next Gen car features an independent rear suspension and larger wheels and tires than the previous design. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)
NASCAR had previously announced that all other tracks will feature cars with 670 hp and four-inch spoilers, replacing the 550 hp and 750 hp setups used across the short tracks, intermediates and road courses last year.
The Next Gen Cup Series cars are a radical departure from the ones that they replace and feature rear independent suspensions, larger wheels and tires, a five-speed sequential gearbox and composite bodywork, among other changes.
While the NASCAR season kicks off at the Daytona 500, the Next Gen cars will make their competitive debut at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum exhibition event on a quarter-mile track that’s been built inside of the L.A. Coliseum scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 6.