A 670 horsepower engine with a 4-inch spoiler will be used at all Cup Series speedways except Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR announced Tuesday morning.
The configuration also will be implemented at road courses and short tracks. Atlanta Motor Speedway also might feature a different package with the components being determined by a test next month on the 1.5-mile track that has been repaved and reconfigured.
The higher-horsepower, lower-downforce combination for NASCAR’s premier series is a significant departure from the 550-horsepower package that had been used at most intermediate, 1.5- to 2-mile ovals since 2019.
That package was predicated on cars being mostly full throttle for the course of a lap. During Next Gen testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway over the past month, NASCAR discovered drivers had to crack the accelerator more often with the new car (because it has more drag), resulting in slower lap times and fewer passing opportunities.
NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said the package was designed to “put the racing squarely in the hands of the best drivers in the world” with the Next Gen car, which will make its debut next season after more than 17,000 miles of on-track development over the past two years.
The 670-horsepower, 4-inch spoiler was one of several packages (including a 6-inch spoiler) tested at Charlotte, and O’Donnell told NASCAR.com that it received the most support during meetings after the test ended last Friday.
“We met with the industry, a number of drivers post-test on Friday with the packages we had narrowed down and really hit on what we all thought would be a great Next Gen car in terms of going out under one rules package with 670 horsepower and then a low-downforce 4-inch spoiler, which we believe we can implement across all of our tracks outside of superspeedways,” O’Donnell said.
Next Gen testing will continue Jan. 5-6 at Atlanta and Jan. 11-12 at Daytona (which likely will feature a 510-horsepower engines along with Talladega). There will be a Jan. 24-25 test at Phoenix Raceway before the 2022 season effectively kicks off with The Clash exhibition race Feb. 5-6 at the L.A. Coliseum.