NASCAR will conduct tests on newly developed aero packages centered around a redesigned splitter, aiming to enhance the racing experience of the Next Gen car on shorter tracks and road courses.
Six drivers – Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton, William Byron, Justin Haley, Ryan Preece and Erik Jones – will take part in the test Monday and Tuesday. Goodyear Tire officials will also be on hand.
“I cannot reword”
“So, the aeronautical experts at our Research and Development Center, led by Dr. Eric Jacuzzi and his team, have conducted significant experiments in the wind tunnel. They recently returned to the wind tunnel on Monday to confirm their belief that the upcoming package we will test at New Hampshire will guide us towards an exceptional short track racing experience.”
A lengthy process
The data collected from the upcoming test will be utilized in the 2024 season. However, even if it shows potential, it will probably undergo additional testing on the track during the offseason.
After conducting a test in January at Phoenix during the offseason, NASCAR implemented an initial modification to its aero package for short tracks and road courses. This adjustment involved adding a two-inch rear spoiler and making various adjustments to the car’s underbody.
However, short track races this season at Richmond, Va., and Martinsville, Va., didn’t see a lot of improvement over 2022.
Sawyer said the packages set to be tested next week are centered around the car’s front splitter with Goodyear on hand to study more potential tire construction and compound changes.
Sawyer mentioned that the underbody of this vehicle is highly significant in generating downforce, unlike in previous years when most of it was created by the air flowing over the top of the car.
“It involves a partnership between the vehicle and the tire to ensure that the racing meets our long-term expectations. We will persist in our efforts until we achieve the desired outcome.”
Bell, the driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, expressed his belief that the upcoming test aims to enhance the cars’ performance when driving in congested conditions.
“I supported a significant decrease in downforce at the start of the year,” he stated. “However, upon reviewing multiple races, I am uncertain if it has had a substantial impact.”
“I had a very optimistic outlook back then, but I don’t believe it has had a significant impact, so I am uncertain about what to expect on Monday.”