NASCAR announced Thursday that it will delay the debut of its NextGen car to 2022. The car was originally set to be used by teams at the start of next season at the Daytona 500, but its release has been pushed back due to development delays as a result of COVID-19.
"The decision was made in collaboration with the OEMs and team owners," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development John Probst said. "We will continue to develop the Next Gen car, and a revised testing timeline will be shared when more information is available."
The new car was designed to help cut costs for teams, and was close to its finished prototype before NASCAR events were postponed until at least May due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The sanctioning body had previously held four test runs with Cup Series drivers, including tests at Richmond Raceway with Austin Dillon, Phoenix Raceway with Joey Logano, Homestead-Miami Speedway with Erik Jones and mostly recently, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., with William Byron in early March.
Three more tests were previously scheduled through April following races at Atlanta, Bristol and Dover, but with those races were postponed and vendor work unable to continue due to stay-at-home orders, development on the car has largely been halted.
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