NASCAR teams planned to have five new Next Gen race machines ready within a few weeks before hitting the road to Daytona Beach, Florida.
Most organizations will be lucky enough to have two fully assembled cars, lucky enough to collect three.
The global supply chain disorder is hitting NASCAR.
How bad will it get?
Richard Childress, like other NASCAR team owners, is facing a race parts shortage
Team owner Richard Childress told foxsports.com that he hoped to have five cars ready for Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick to head to the West Coast next month.
But Richard Childress Racing could be an outlier.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to plague the international supply chain, it affects all walks of life, including professional auto racing.
As teams gathered for Next Gen car testing at Daytona International Speedway on January 11 and 12, most had two cars ready to race and one in development. Some garages will only have five cars ready after the swing to the west.
COVID-19 is not entirely to blame.
After test drives in Daytona last year, drivers complained about driving and heating problems. The data was collected and teams redesigned the cars and ordered new parts.
Some arrived. Some remain on standby.
NASCAR VP on supply chain issues: ‘We are not immune to the world’
Despite the late redesigns, owners must now order most of the teams’ parts from NASCAR-approved suppliers. And some have been slow to deliver this winter. Teams like Hendrick Motorsports have built their machines from the chassis in the past. Now the new cost-cutting regulations force pit crew members to wait for the parts to arrive.
And wait… and wait…
“We’re not immune to the world,” Probst said. “We see COVID and supply chain delays on some of the distribution,” said NASCAR Vice President John Probst told motorsport guru Bob Pockrass on Jan. 11.
The delays are making some teams sweat.
Not Team Penske driver Joey Logano. The 2018 premier series champion has no intention of breaking through his aggressive racing maneuvers; supply chain be damned.
“That’s the position we’re all in,” Logano said. “It’s tight. Don’t crash.”
NASCAR teams have enough car parts for now, but limited
Logano has not maimed his machine during the recent Daytona sessions. He plans to use the test drive for the preseason exhibition, the Clash at the Colosseum, on Feb. 6.
If nothing happens between now and then.
Pit crew chiefs are likely to make the final Next Gen car testing at Phoenix Raceway on January 25-26 a success. So close to the start of the season, the process of rebuilding a car can be a challenge for Speedweeks.
“Right now we don’t see any parts or parts that could stop a car from racing at an event,” Probst said. “Time will tell. But right now we’re concerned, but we’re not in a situation where people can’t race.”
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