It was lower than 4 months in the past, throughout an interview at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the place Wilson stated, “We’re all behind,” when it got here to the event and testing of the brand new automobile.
At that time, NASCAR had carried out only one multi-car check at Daytona Worldwide Speedway, and that produced an inventory of recent points, together with driver cockpit overheating and issues with the automobile’s steering.
Groups at that time have been reluctant to construct many new vehicles due to the variety of modifications that have been being made to handle the automobile’s efficiency with every passing check.
Wilson stated the problems got here to boiling level by the tip of the 2021 season and producers turned to NASCAR for assist.
“Historically, NASCAR facilitates a check – whether or not it’s an organisational check, a tyre check – and by and huge it’s left as much as the organisations what they do they usually’re instructed to exit and check. That had considerably been the mentality within the improvement of the Subsequent Gen automobile,” Wilson stated.
“Clearly, as a result of we have been behind, as a result of we had lots of difficult points, we wanted to vary that paradigm and we wanted NASCAR to step ahead with some management and a few self-discipline.”
Wilson stated NASCAR, workforce and producer executives met through the annual post-season champion’s week in Nashville in late November to handle the rising issues and everybody had an opportunity to “vent.”
“I believe it was a kind of therapeutic issues and was good for all of us. What got here from that, was the 2 weeks of [additional] testing at Charlotte. And that was the perfect testing, essentially the most organised, essentially the most disciplined testing that we now have seen with this new automobile,” Wilson stated.
“And shock – not – we got here away feeling actually good about our intermediate package deal. Now we have coated lots of floor since Las Vegas final 12 months. This week we noticed the identical factor at Daytona and we really feel actually good about our superspeedway package deal.”
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Floor and David Wilson
Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
Groups and drivers are discovering that it’s a a lot totally different automobile with which they may compete this season, however it races in some acquainted methods.
“Here’s what we’re going by way of collectively. The automobile is totally different, it feels totally different, it sounds totally different, the sensation in your butt is totally different as a result of it’s a fully new automobile,” Wilson stated.
“Nonetheless, what has been the identical right here in Daytona is there’s a draft, you’ll be able to play with it, you’ll be able to transfer the automobile round on monitor with an affordable quantity of consolation and you’ll drive from the again to the entrance and arrange passes.”
Requested if he believed the extra direct NASCAR involvement during the last month-and-a-half was welcome, Wilson stated: “It was greater than welcome – it was wanted. It was slightly little bit of the old fashioned NASCAR. We would have liked them to inform us what to do.
“We’re all on this knowledge assortment mode proper now and the extra credible knowledge we will collect as an business, the faster we’re going to advance our learnings on this race automobile. Kudos to Steve O’Donnell, John Probst and Eric Jacuzzi and that complete group [at NASCAR] for getting us on monitor and targeted with clear course, with a check plan.
“We’ve all harvested some actually good learnings.”
That’s to not say there nonetheless aren’t points with the Subsequent Gen rollout.
Some groups are nonetheless battling amassing the maximum-allotted seven vehicles per workforce by the beginning of the 2022 season.
Till the appearance of the Subsequent Gen automobile, most Cup groups constructed their chassis and automobile elements in-house however nearly all elements, together with the chassis, of the Subsequent Gen automobile should be bought by groups from NASCAR-approved suppliers.
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
Photograph by: Charlotte Motor Speedway
NASCAR’s elements suppliers, sadly, are dealing with most of the identical points associated to the COVID pandemic and employee shortages as different industries.
Relating to the on-track efficiency, nevertheless, just one Subsequent Gen check stays – two days later this month at Phoenix Raceway – earlier than the automobile sees its first race, the non-points exhibition Busch Gentle Conflict on a made-from-scratch ¼-mile oval contained in the Los Angeles Coliseum on sixth February.
In some ways, Cup groups have now returned to what they’re most acquainted with with regards to low season preparation – finding ways to make their cars go faster.
“We’re extra comfy with this automobile than we ever have been,” Wilson stated when speaking in regards to the strategy of on-track competitors. “The sensitivity gauge now’s shifting again to logistics and provide chain.
“Essentially the most important factor of late has been the on-track, creating and tuning a package deal and coping with the warmth points and steering and all of these issues. Mechanically, collectively, we’re in fine condition, and hand on coronary heart, we will say we’re able to race this automobile.
“Now, the stress base is shifting again to the outlets. The elements are trickling in. It’s not going to be comfy for a short while, however I believe we’re going to be OK.”
Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing Chevrolet leads the sphere
Photograph by: NASCAR Media