NASCAR has confirmed that the introduction of its next generation racing car will be delayed by one year. The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has ended NASCAR racing and the development and testing of Next Gen, which was to debut in the Daytona 500 2021.
“Due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the debut of the Next Gen car will be delayed until 2022,” said John Probst, NASCAR senior vice president of racing innovation. “The decision was made in collaboration with the equipment manufacturers and the team owners. We will continue to develop the Next Gen car, and a revised test schedule will be shared as more information becomes available. “
When the race returns, the industry and everyone associated with it will have to go through a payback period. David Wilson of Toyota had previously cited as a reason why he would like to see the next generation pushed back a year; a sentiment shared by Chad Knaus of Hendrick Motorsport and Mason St Hilaire of Go Fas Racing.
Next Gen has been on track four times since the end of last year for testing, with a different driver driving each time. Austin Dillon was the first to drive the car to Richmond Raceway, followed by Joey Logano in Phoenix, Eric Jones in Homestead and William Byron in Fontana.
The car’s fifth test was scheduled to take place at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month with Clint Bowyer. This test was canceled after the postponement of the race weekend, which was the first race weekend affected by COVID-19.