Ford Thinks Next Gen Cars Will Revive NASCAR

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 14 2020

Former driver and current team owner Tony Stewart thinks the upcoming generation of Cup cars will make the sport more relevant.

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Even though the 2020 season is just beginning, NASCAR Cup teams are already focused on developing the next generation car, one that Tony Stewart says is being done for the “right reasons.” 

“It’s trying to help the sustainability of the teams to be able to compete in the sport,” Stewart said Friday at Daytona International Speedway. “It’s time to bring this car to a more current type of vehicle that’s more relevant to what you’re seeing on the streets.

“It’s a huge project, obviously, not only for Ford and all the Ford teams, but for everybody in the sport.  This is a very major undertaking to try to go through the development of this car in a very short amount of time.

“A lot has to happen during this calendar year, but I think at the end of the day it is done with the right intention and the right reasons … for the sustainability of the sport.  It’s the right direction.  I feel like it’s a good thing.”

Jack Roush believes it has created a scenario “with the promise or prospect of making these teams economically viable.”

“The problem we’ve had in the last … decade or two decades, you couldn’t figure out how to take somebody that had not been involved with the sport that didn’t already have some equity in it, how to make them a team owner. The income and the expenditures were upside down,” Roush said during a press conference with NASCAR Cup Ford team owners.

“With the changes they made, with eliminating some of the needless development that’s going on, components that don’t add to the quality of the race, we’ve got the prospect of putting the thing back on track. (We) just (need to) stop all this needless development of things that don’t add to the quality of the show. Then we have the prospect of things falling in line from a cost point of view.

Penske Corp. Senior Vice President Walt Czarnecki said it wouldn’t surprise him to see new teams entering the Cup Series because of the next gen car. 

The economics are going to become more workable, we believe,” Czarnecki continued.

When NASCAR began developing the next gen car, the sanctioning body immediately involved the teams and OEMs, a move Czarnecki views as a positive one.

“Obviously, we haven’t competed with the car yet,” Czarnecki said. “We’ve only run it one time.  Joey (Logano) has given us some positive feedback about it.  But we’re excited about the prospects of what the car will bring both from a technical standpoint and from a marketing standpoint, as well.”

Still, there are other challenges facing the sport that Czarnecki doesn’t believe will change immediately.

We’ve been looking at our demographics, marketing, schedule, TV, all those things,” Czarnecki said. “I don’t think those are going to change in the next 12 to 24 months.

 “Having said that, I think we’ve reached a point where we are on an upward trajectory as a sport. I think we’ve seen the nadir of the sport here in the last couple of years. The new gen car is going to be the vehicle that keeps us going in that direction, I’m convinced of it.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 14 2020


  • Al Torney says:

    From all that I have read it appears the Cup car will be a generic car. In other words an IROC car. While it will reduce costs significantly it will not improve the racing or the personalities of the drivers. Another point is that the cars will not look like the street versions. One can only look at a Street Mustang, Camaro, Camry or Supra and see the aero differences. Just like today the cars will have front and rear facia like the street car. Another point is that the average fan could care less about live axle vs. IRS, 4-speed vs. 6 speed, tire size and obviously push rod vs. overhead cam motor.
    The media theme in 2021 will be wait until the second half of the schedule, or next year, as the teams figure out the new cars. As single car testing has never proven anything. It has yet to tell teams how the car will race with 39 other cars on the track.
    Another point is the Race Team Alliance discourages anyone from starting a new team. This will not change. Telling a potential new start up team to spend millions of dollars to race for less money then 36 other teams in just plain dumb.
    As far as attracting new manufacturers goes I can’t see it happening. Number one they would have to attract an existing RTA team. The question then becomes which top rated team would be available? I know money talks but a new manufacturer would need at least four cars on the track to even be viable to compete. I hope i’m wrong on this but I doubt it. If the tv and attendance numbers improve substantially it would be helpful. We’ll see.

  • Dave Christo says:

    Whatever they do, I hope they keep the manufacturers having their own name brand engines for identity,and V8’s! / The trend lately from NASCAR has been using the Ilmor generic (LS Chevy) spec motor for ARCA, trucks, and getting close to Xfinity Series . Other OEM’s designs should be considered the Spec motors. Why Ford and Toyota would agree with the top series using this engine does not make sense. I see NASCAR is after getting more ‘brands’ in the series; by using Chevy Spec engines, I guess the almighty GM is happy anyways!