According to a report from Hagerty.com, a staple item that has had very little change since the inception of the sport of NASCAR in 1949, will be drastically different when the sport moves to their Next Gen race car in 2021.
The standard four-speed H-pattern gearbox that teams have been using for years, seems to have been ditched for a new, more modern, six-speed sequential gearbox.
For those unfamiliar with the different types of gearbox, a H-pattern shifter is one where you grab the stick and manually push it into a certain gear. This allows you to skip gears if you so choose, but it also comes at the risk of missing gears and potentially damaging the transmission.
A sequential gearbox gives the driver the option of up a gear or down a gear, but you don’t have to manually find the gear your looking for.
This is just the latest in a pile of changes that the public has been able to identify in the couple of times the NextGen race car has been tested.
We know that NASCAR is utilizing a stepped front splitter, which keeps the car from fully sucking down into the track and allows the car to have air run under the front of the car. We also have seen the massive rear diffuser that is being tested, currently.
The hood has air vents that are noticeable.
The wheel size has been increased from 15-inch diameter to 18-inch and the car now sports a wider low-profile tire. This new report also states that the new car has independent front and rear suspensions, something we have never seen in NASCAR.
The latest video of Joey Logano testing the car have also shown exhaust pipes going to each side of the car, and there are some cool design features that look drastically different with the sideskirts of the car.
Also, the built in yaw — or skew — from the Gen 6 race car has been removed and the car is actually the same on both sides — like a street car.
The Next Gen race car will be different — a lot different — than what we have seen compete in the sport in some time.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.