April 13, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Daytona 500 results and updates

Daytona 500 results and updates

The development of the next-generation race car, which took nearly three years amid a pandemic slowdown, was driven by imperatives as NASCAR executives five and 10 years down the road looked at the sport’s future and where the auto industry is headed. They reached two main conclusions.

First, NASCAR needed to revamp its team owners’ ranks. The founders of its most successful multi-car operation were quite old – 72-year-old Rick Hendrick; Richard Childers, 76; Joe Gibbs, 81; and Roger Pinsky, 85. These veterans, who have 27 Cup titles between them, also account for 13 of the 40-car Daytona this year.

To attract a new generation of owners, NASCAR concluded that the sport needed to reduce the cost of launching its startup cup operations.

Second: NASCAR needed to attract new car manufacturers to challenge Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota and provide a hedge in case one of them pulled out of cup races, as Dodge did in 2012.

The Mustang is Ford’s last remaining production car, and its future points toward an all-electric version. Chevrolet is expected to phase out the Camaro after 2024 and replace it with an EV version.

But wooing new manufacturers to compete in NASCAR β€” whether it’s Honda, Nissan or someone else β€” is a tough sell when almost nothing about the Cup cars’ old technology has anything to do with what they’re building. Conclusion: Connect with the automakers or get left behind.

β€œThe next generation car is designed to be convenient,” John Probst, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, said over the phone.

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Probst added that given that NASCAR’s business is entertainment, another goal in developing the new car was to improve racing by emphasizing the skill of drivers over the skill of engineering teams and costly wind tunnel testing.

“We’ve never sold a ticket to a wind tunnel,” he noted.