NASCAR Cup Series Teams Face Next Gen Car Shortage Heading into 2022 Season

When a full pack of NASCAR Cup Series cars drove bumper-to-bumper and door-to-door in drawing sessions during testing at Daytona International Speedway this week, there was a very palpable sense of nervousness about whether or not a car or two — – or even more – would eventually be crammed and vandalized. And when the two-day test ended without incident, there was a distinct sense of relief as a very limited fleet of vehicles has left the teams in NASCAR in a less than ideal position for the 2022 season.

According to a report by Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, teams participating in this week’s Next Gen test in Daytona said they have just two completed cars ready for the 2022 season with three weeks until the Busch Light Clash at the Colosseum and something more than one more month before the Daytona 500. While NASCAR had initially expected teams to have five cars per car number ready by the start of the season, there were supply chain problems for parts suppliers and delays in key component deliveries due to several modifications to the Next Gen car during fall testing has resulted in a number of teams currently only having two cars complete and a third under construction.

The shortage of Next Gen cars is a big part of the growing pains for the new Cup Series car. Unlike in the past where race teams made parts and components, now all major parts, except the engine, must be purchased from approved suppliers. With no crossover from the previous generation of cars to the Next Gen car, teams now have to start over and reassemble cars from scratch for the upcoming season.

While NASCAR is tightening up on the inventory of cars each race team has with the debut of the Next Gen car, NASCAR senior vice president of race innovation John Probst remained confident that teams would have enough equipment to get started at the start of the season. to operate.

“We are still on track for five cars per team,” said Probst. “…We are not immune to the world. We are seeing COVID and supply chains being slowed down and some of the distribution being slowed down a little bit. I would say right now we don’t see any parts or parts that will make every car cannot race in an event. We work with the teams to ensure that we deploy backup cars in an efficient manner.

“And I think while we’re concerned, and I think everybody’s concerned – and it’s probably rightfully so, that’s what we’re doing. We’re worried about those kinds of things – we don’t see anything now that keeps everyone from racing on a event.”

As NASCAR seeks to change the racing team’s business model, reduce costs and increase parity, starting in 2022, racing teams will be limited to seven individual cars in a rotation at any given time, with NASCAR and the chassis supplier determining whether a chassis needs repair. or must be replaced in the event of a crash. There has been some concern about whether or not the supply shortage could have an impact on race product early in the season – particularly in the Daytona 500 – as the idea has been floated that drivers could take a conservative approach out of fear for destruction they have so few cars.

However, several directors indicated that this would not be the case despite the current uncertainties.

“At this level, with this talent out there and these teams out there, you can’t get by running 95 percent anymore. You just have to get behind it every lap.” Joey Logano told reporters on Daytona. “…You can’t go out and race scared. You can’t. You have to go out 100 percent every lap.”

“(My race team has) given me the confidence that we can race as hard as we need to every week,” Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said:. “For me, that’s the green light I need to make sure I get out and do my job.”

The 2022 season marks the first time NASCAR has introduced a new generation of Cup cars since 2013, when the Gen 6 made its debut in the 2013 Daytona 500. It should be noted that similar issues were seen with the Gen 6 rollout. 6, as teams faced a supply shortage due to a switch to carbon fiber hoods and deck covers.

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