The much-anticipated debut of the Next Gen car in the 2023 season saw both positives and negatives and a need for a lot of improvement.
It can be said that the Next Gen car brought a lot of excitement to the tracks in its debut season. The season saw 19 different winners, which is a joint record for the varying number of winners in a season. Additionally, there were five drivers to win a race in the Cup Series for the first time.
However, the positives were shadowed by safety concerns in the Next Gen car. As the season progressed, many drivers were vocal about their concerns and asked NASCAR to address them as soon as possible. Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman suffered concussions after crashes leading them to miss a number of races.
Another issue that needs addressing is the fire concern with the Next Gen car. The season saw 10 fire incidents that happened without any catalyst. However, NASCAR seemed to have worked through this issue as NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller outlined on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“I think the root cause of the fires is rubber collecting in the wrong areas and starting a small fire, which obviously then can catch other parts and pieces on fire. We have come a really long way on that and I think that we have some things on tap over the winter.”
Other changes will include a new rear bumper structure, hood, nose, rear clip and cooling louvers on the hood.
Nobody expected Next Gen cars to be perfect in its debut season but with a year of feedback, a lot of improvements are expected for the car’s second season.