After performing a thorough evaluation of the damage sustained to the cars of Kyle Larson (No. 5) and Ryan Preece (No. 41) following an April 23 accident at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR has decided to implement an update to the Next Gen chassis.
The severity of the accident and the damage sustained to the No. 5 Chevrolet, provoked NASCAR to bring the two vehicles, one from Hendrick Motorsports, one from Stewart-Haas Racing, back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further evaluation.
On May 12, NASCAR distributed a memo to NASCAR Cup Series teams detailing a pair of updates to the chassis, while also stating that further chassis updates are currently under consideration.
The chassis updates include the addition of six right-side door bar gussets that may be added in the areas outlined in the image below. These gussets will be provided to NASCAR Cup Series teams at no additional charge and aim to strengthen a welded joint to limit intrusion.
Additionally, the front clip v-brace must be removed from the assembly, which will reduce the overall stiffness of the front clip.
NASCAR says that they’ll be conducting two days of crash testing over the course of this week – on Wednesday and Thursday – in a crash-test facility in Ohio, and that following these tests, the sanctioning body may be inclined to make further changes.
Following the incident at Talladega, Elton Sawyer – NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition – ensured that the NASCAR R&D Center employees were doing their best to gain an understanding of the accident.
Those measures included working with both Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing, as well as Kyle Larson, to re-enact the accident, in order to get a better understanding of any changes that needed to be made.