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NASCAR Officially Unveils NextGen Car, Debut Marked for February 2022

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – William Byron tests the Next Gen car at Auto Club Speedway (PC :Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Digital Media)

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. The first day of the Next Gen-eration. The date which will now be known as the time that NASCAR fans and industry members alike were provided the opportunity to look into the future of the NASCAR Cup Series.

The highly-anticipated reveal of the NextGen car – which will make its competition debut in 2022 — will take place at 3:00pm / EST on May 5th. TobyChristie.com will be running a live blog on the event, as well as the subsequent media availabilities with NASCAR executives, OEM executives and the drivers that are set to be involved in the event.

NASCAR will broadcast the event LIVE on their YouTube channel:

Additional information and images will be added to TobyChristie.com’s Live Blog as it becomes available.


NASCAR’s NextGen Reveal:

Eric Warren – Director of NASCAR Programs at Chevrolet — and Chase Elliott – 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro — helped to unveil Chevrolet’s brand-new 2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that will debut at the beginning of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NextGen Car will provide a closer correlation to the production Camaro, with its symmetrical body, lower greenhouse, shortened deck and widened track width contributing to a “coupe-like appearance.”

“Chevrolet engineers and designers worked alongside our race teams to develop this race car while staying true to the styling essence of the Camaro ZL1,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “This cooperation will benefit Chevrolet both on the track and the street.”

The NextGen version of the Camaro ZL1 – just like the production version — offers hood air extractors that enhance on-track performance.

“The Next Gen Camaro has a much stronger link to the production Camaro ZL1 in terms of styling integration, improved proportions and relevant technologies,” said Eric Warren, Chevrolet director of NASCAR Programs. “From an engineering standpoint, this is a seismic shift. It’s a completely new car that brings with it a lot of opportunity from a technical standpoint.”

Chevrolet initially introduced their Camaro ZL1 into NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2018, eventually migrating to the current design of the Camaro ZL1 1LE, which Chase Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports drove to the championship last season.

The manufacturer has used a total of 14 different models in the NASCAR Cup Series, dating back to their debut at NASCAR’s top-level in 1955. With 798 victories, Chevrolet is the winningest brand of all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Chevrolet’s 1st NCS Win: 03/26/1955, Columbia Speedway (Fonty Flock)
Chevrolet’s Latest NCS Win: 04/18/2021, Richmond Raceway (Alex Bowman)
Chevrolet’s Manufacturers’ Championships: 39 (1958 to 1961, 1972 to 1974, 1976 to 1980, 1983 to 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003 to 2015)

Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Mark Rushbrook – Global Director at Ford Performance Motorsports — and Joey Logano – 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and 27-time NASCAR Cup Series winner — helped to unveil Ford Performance’s brand-new 2022 Ford Mustang that will debut at the beginning of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

The new car – which has been under development for over two years — is completely different from its predecessor, after being redesigned from the ground up to feature flexibility for technological advances such as a hybrid or electric powertrain. However, the NextGen Mustang still maintains similarity to its production counterpart, which maintains its title as “The world’s best-selling sports car.”

“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to make sure this Next Gen Mustang remains relevant to our customers,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “As the automotive industry continues to change, we’ll have the ability to keep up in the racing world without having to go through a complete overhaul or redesign of the car. This is something we’ve been waiting for and we’re glad the time has finally arrived.”

The development of this brand-new car took place in Ford’s Dearborn design center and at the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, North Carolina – where Ford’s NASCAR scale model and aero teams are located. Additional development continues on full-motion simulators at the technical center.

“This car is true to the Mustang brand and we have to thank the Ford design team for working hand-in-hand with our aerodynamic engineers to ensure it is competitive on the track, while maintaining unique Mustang styling,” said Rushbrook. “That requires a lot of give-and-take on both sides, but with the new smaller greenhouse area and shorter rear deck, we were able to do a lot of things to make sure there’s no mistaking this is a Mustang.”

The Ford Mustang entered the NASCAR Cup Series in 2019 and has won at least 10 races in each of its first two seasons, including a season-high 18 races in 2020, a feat which helped Ford claim the manufacturers’ championship.

“Mustang is an iconic brand for Ford and when I saw the Next Gen Mustang in person for the first time I was pumped,” said Team Penske driver Joey Logano, the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion. “The aggressive look of the nose and the changes to the greenhouse and tail make the car more authentic to the street Mustang than ever before. I know the fans are going to love the Next Gen Mustang and I can’t wait to get it on the track.”

Ford’s 1st NCS Win: 06/25/1950, Dayton Speedway (Jimmy Florian)
Ford’s Latest NCS Win: 04/25/2021, Talladega Superspeedway (Brad Keselowski)
Ford’s Manufacturers’ Championships: 19 (1956, 1957, 1963 to 1969, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2018, 2020)

Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Ford Mustang is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Ford Mustang is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Ford Mustang is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Ford Mustang is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

David Wilson – President of Toyota Racing Development — and Denny Hamlin – three-time Daytona 500 winner and current NASCAR Cup Series points leader — helped to unveil Toyota Racing Development’s brand-new 2022 Toyota Camry that will debut at the beginning of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Toyota has been working alongside NASCAR, as well as Chevrolet and Ford – the series’ two other OEM’s — in order to develop the NextGen Car. The components for the car are unprecedented for the sport, but is a move that looks to continue to evolve the saftey of the race cars and promote on-track competition.

Much like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, the Toyota Camry also moves to a design that is the most accurate representation of the production Camry since joining NASCAR’s top-level.

“There has been a substantial amount of work put into the Toyota TRD Camry Next Gen car by all of our partners, but specifically everyone at TRD and Calty Design,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports and assets, TMNA (Toyota Motor North America). “We’re thrilled to have the chance to showcase the TRD Camry to represent Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series through this Next Gen project. This is our topline, track-inspired performance Camry and it seemed only fitting for it to take it’s spot on the race track.”

Toyota continues to be the only OEM to run three different models across NASCAR’s top-three series, utilizing the Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series, the Toyota Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Since joining the ranks of NASCAR in 2004, the manufacturer has collected a combined 530 NASCAR National Series wins and 13 NASCAR National Series Championships.

“For Toyota and TRD, we’re committed to the principle of continuous improvement and we believe that’s reflected in this Next Gen TRD Camry,” said David Wilson, president of TRD. “While we know the margins available with this new race car are smaller when it comes to adjustability, we know our race team partners and our team at TRD look forward to the challenge of learning about this car and discovering the performance opportunities that will help put the TRD Camry into victory lane.”

Toyota’s 1st NCS Win: 03/09/2008, Atlanta Motor Speedway (Kyle Busch)
Toyota’s Latest NCS Win: 05/02/2021, Kansas Speedway (Kyle Busch)
Toyota’s Manufacturers’ Championships: 3 (2016, 2017 and 2019)

Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Toyota Camry is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Toyota Camry is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Toyota Camry is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 22: The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Toyota Camry is previewed at NASCAR R&D Center on April 22, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NextGen Blueprints:

2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1:

2022 Ford Mustang:

2022 Toyota Camry:


NextGen Overview:

NextGen-Overview

NextGen Spec Sheet:

NextGen-SpecSheet

NextGen Vendor List:

NextGen-Vendors

Additional Information | Details | Quotes:

Steve O’ Donnell, NASCAR’s Chief Racing Development Officer:

  • The amount of horsepower and the height of the spoilers has not been determined, but no extreme changes are expected:
    • “I think somewhat similar range. We’re still trying to dial in a few things, still a couple other conversations to have with the industry, the engine builders as we see kind of leading into the next couple Superspeedway races, the All-Star Race, and then make a final decision.”
    • “We’re within a window where the industry is comfortable with. We know that we can take that to future technologies, as well, so we’ll be somewhat close to where we’re at today but still not finalized.”
  • The NextGen Car will be adaptable – just as the cars are now — which allows for changes to be made in the name of the on-track product or safety of the race car:
    • “We can make any change, just as if we do today, changes that were made from Daytona to Talladega. Those same things are in our toolkit, so to speak, to be able to do that. So if we found something that we need to react to from a safety standpoint, we can do that and we will do that.”
  • At this time, the NextGen Car is only slated to be a NASCAR Cup Series based project, however, certain aspects of the project haven’t been 100-percent ruled out when it comes to the NASCAR Xfinity Series and/or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
    • “For now it is solely Cup. As we take a look and evolve this, we want to take a look at where could it play if we really like the directions it’s going in from all aspects, not just the racing but when we look at kind of the whole car in its entirety around potential ownership and where we’re going and new OEMs, there are some things we could look at, body styles that you may be able to put on that chassis.”
  • The NextGen Car will feature additional multi-car tests between now and February 2022:
    • “We have tests coming up in August will be the first time that we’ll look at Daytona with multiple cars on the track. And then as you fast forward towards the end of the season, October, I believe, we’ll have both the Roval and the oval with multiple cars on the track from each of the race teams, and then following that up post-Phoenix, we’ll dial that in with the race teams, as well, with a number of cars out on the track.”

Steve Phelps, President of NASCAR:

  • There has been NO DECISION on the placement of the numbers on the NextGen Car:
    • “Yeah, no decisions yet on the numbers.” […] We’re doing some research right now. We did some research when we did the numbers initially at All-Star last year. You know what, it’s mixed. There are some fans that absolutely hate it and there are fans that absolutely love it, so no decision as to what we’re going to do on where those numbers are going to be placed. We’re working with our teams on it. The teams are fielding a study, as well, right now. So that’s kind of a TBD.”

Eric Warren, Director of NASCAR Programs at Chevrolet:

  • There are no major model swaps planned in the forseeable future for Chevrolet:
    • “Now that we’re going to have the closeness between the race car and Camaro, we’re going to race it as long as Camaro exists because it’s the closest connection between the race car and production car, which is exciting for all the fans, Camaro owners and customers.”
  • The NextGen Car will feature an additional flap on the diffuser – located on the rear of the car:
    • “Certainly this car a lot of effort was spent in some of the safety features. You see roof laps and things on the roof of the car now, this car has it in the back of diffuser in the back. The flap comes down. All that was engineered to really raise that liftoff speed even above the car that we have now.”

John Probst, Senior Vice President for Racing Innovation:

  • Parts and pieces of the NextGen Car are already starting to be delivered to some organizations, with chassis delivery expected to begin in the middle of June:
    • “We’re already starting to make deliveries to the race teams now, parts and pieces that will culminate middle of June when we start delivering chassis to the teams.”
  • NASCAR has recieved immense “OEM Feedback” from manufacturers that are – and some that are not — potentially interested in joining the Cup Series, however no “ready to announce” discussions:
    • “I can say that some of them have been very willing to provide feedback on this car for us. Obviously off to the side, they’re not in the middle of what we’re doing, and may for one reason or another not want to be associated with it at this point. But I can say that we’ve had a lot of OEM feedback on this car. Probably not ready to announce anything that we’ve been discussing with anything other than the three OEMs that we have in our sport today that are obviously very important partners to us. And I think that if a new OEM did want to come in to our sport, we’re probably beyond the time that they’d be able to do that for 2022.”

Q. You’re a former marketing guy. Give me your best pitch as to why the fans should embrace this race car.

STEVE PHELPS: Well, I would say it’s really three things. First is the styling. I mean, the cars look phenomenal. It’s not like the existing car doesn’t look good. I think the existing car looks really good. But if you think about this car and its styling, it is a souped-up Camaro, it’s a souped-up Mustang and it’s a souped-up Camry. That’s what they are. It looks like you’ve gone to some type of outfit that’s taken a regular car and just made it look incredibly sporty, and I think that’s what it does. So that’s the first.

The second to me as a race fan really is going to be, hey, I think it’s cool that there’s a relevance to this race car that we haven’t seen frankly in 40, 50 years, and most importantly is I think the racing is going to be better. I’m no engineer as everyone knows, but I think you look at the aero in particular and the wake or the dirty air that comes from the existing car, the ability to reduce that, which this car does, or I’ve been told that’s what it does, and then the bigger tire patch and the wider tires with a softer compound I think will, again, create what I already believe is the best racing we’ve already had and will create even better racing.


Transcripts:

David Wilson, Denny Hamlin:

Transcript: Denny Hamlin, David Wilson (TRD) – May 5th, 2021

Joey Logano, Mark Rushbrook:

Transcript: Joey Logano, Mark Rushbrook (Ford Performance) – May 5th, 2021

Chase Elliott, Eric Warren:

Transcript: Chase Elliott, Eric Warren (Chevrolet) – May 5th, 2021

Steve O’Donnell:

Transcript: Steve O’Donnell – May 5th, 2021

Steve Phelps:

Transcript: Steve Phelps – May 5th, 2021

John Probst, Brandon Thomas:

Transcript: John Probst, Brandon Thomas – May 5th, 2021

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