'21 Generation 7 Car news

Charlie Spencer

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Penske dumped Dodge because they would not sign a new 1 year contract. Ford gave it to him and look now they have Penske and SHR as their main teams. Best decision Ford made in the last 20 years.
Sounds like Penske was the one with the commitment issues back then.
 

Team Penske

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Sounds like Penske was the one with the commitment issues back then.
That should have read 10 year contract from Dodge. Penske is first and foremost a business man,
His hobby is racing and Indy is his real love. When Chrysler was given to FIAT, he was smart enough to want a signed and sealed contract from that Brand or else. His commitment to racing has never wavered, he bought out his Nascar Partners so that he could commit more to Nascar and control his business.
This is the opposite of what Jack did with his teams. Jack recouped all his cash by selling to a partner so he could get his investment out. By cashing in he lost control of his race teams and has gone down hill ever since. It is possible that the new cars in 2021 could be the end of RFR.
 

Formerjackman

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Those chrome wheels from the 80's were AWESOME looking, unfortunately, the wheel weights liked to fly off them. I never understood why they didn't just leave the bead area of the wheel (the outside edge) unplated, and then the wheel weights wouldn't have been an issue.
 

Formerjackman

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More evidence I'm not a car guy. I just assumed all wheels on street cars came as steel with hubcaps from the factory, and all alloy were after-market. I obviously don't even know what I'm seeing, even on those rare occasions when I happen to look.

What are allow wheels made of? What metals are combined?
The vast majority of street wheels are just cast aluminum, but in higher end wheels, some are forged and I'm sure there are other small amounts of different alloys added for strength, machinability, etc. I would imagine any wheel NASCAR would use would have to be forged for strength and have a higher alloy content. I have quite a bit of experience with aluminum wheels on semi trucks, and while more expensive, they look fantastic and are much more durable and run more true. That's why only the cheap ass trucking fleets run steel wheels on their steer tires.
 

LewTheShoe

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@StandOnIt , thanks for starting this one. It's a good topic worthy of its own discussion, so the details don't get lost in other ones over the next 20-odd months.
Good point. I hope we can maintain this thread as the "official" Gen 7 thread. I believe the Gen 7 car is going to usher in a new era in the Nascar team ownership operating model, with very important implications. So we should have one thread, IMO, to collect news, our thoughts, our debates about this important project.

Nate Ryan's regular Wednesday round up (NBCsports.com) of various topics is often a treasure trove of tantalizing esoterica, and today was no exception. He includes some blockbuster details of the objectives sought for the Gen 7 car... including a reduction of the fleet down to 5 to 7 cars per team, which is about one-third of current fleet size! Wow. Also, discussion of a Dallara-style spec chassis... which implies a team would use the exact same chassis at places as varied as Talladega, Martinsville, Charlotte, and Watkins Glen... if I read it correctly...
Another compelling reason to hold off on overhauling this year’s [high drag/high downforce rules package] is because it’s short-lived.

With an aggressive target date of the 2021 Daytona 500, there is furious work occurring behind the scenes on the Gen 7 car – its visual stylings, its features and parts (some of which are expected to be common) and its impact on helping keep team budgets in check.

It’s expected that on-track testing for the 2021 model will happen before the end of this season (and many believe it probably should have begun last season), and the goal is a fleet of five to seven cars per team (as opposed to roughly three times as many under the current model) with a budget far south of the $25-30 million that currently is estimated to be spent on championship entries.

Roger Penske recently was outspoken on the need to have the Gen 7 within two years to bring costs in line, and it was fittingly from an interview at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix season opener for IndyCar.

During the most recent episode of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast, Front Row Motorsports general manager Jerry Freeze said Penske and Chip Ganassi have been forthright about the impact of the Dallara in IndyCar (which made the switch to a common chassis seven years ago).

“In team owner council meetings, we talk about areas to race in, and Mr. Penske and Mr. Ganassi are quite outspoken about what they’ve done in IndyCar,” Freeze said. “There’s one place you go to get your chassis. I don’t know all the parts and components very well with IndyCar racing, but I really think that’s the direction that’s being talked about with the Gen 7 car. Dictate the areas that you’re going to race in and areas you aren’t going to race in and try to drive some costs down.

“Listening to (Penske and Ganassi) have firsthand experience with that, it seems to have worked with viable IndyCar teams that are still very competitive, and their racing has been fantastic from the races I’ve watched. They still have a loyal, passionate fan base. We’re all observing how they do it, and I think some of those methods will be replicated across our sport.”

Penske estimated that IndyCar budgets top out at $10 million annually (across a 17-race schedule) for championship-caliber teams, which are limited on the amount that can be spent on research and development.

There are signs that it can work in NASCAR, too. The move to a common pit gun last year helped keep in check teams spending seven figures annually on pit stop equipment. “We don’t want to go to an all-spec series,” Freeze said. “That’s been done before, and I don’t think there’s a lot of enthusiasm for that. That’s the balance now. What areas do we need to not be racing in, and what areas can we race in without breaking the bank? If everybody agrees you can standardize the chassis and don’t have a speedway car vs. road course car.

“We’re taking some steps to refine our package that caused cost increases for us in specializing cars. With the new package, that’s one thing that could be addressed if you just lock it in that this is the chassis or body you’ve got, you shouldn’t need a whole lot of inventory.”
https://nascar.nbcsports.com/2019/03/27/ryan-was-the-story-of-martinsville-the-tame-the-typical-or-the-tires/
 

LewTheShoe

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This thread also needs a link to an important Roger Penske interview recently where he discussed the Gen 7 car, so I'm repeating that here. Sorry to be redundant, but I'm trying to promote the concept of a Gen 7 "official thread" because I think the Gen 7 project will be an important game changer in how Nascar and the team owners do business.

This article has very interesting and candid comments by The Captain, and very scary to me. He seems to be holding out the spec IndyCar as the model for Nascar's Gen 7 car. Making changes “that don’t hurt the show” sounds good, but I've seen that rationale used many times in my career to justify cost reductions that wind up homogenizing the final product.

I admit that I'm a racing purist, so maybe that places me among a small minority...:idunno: But to me, a Hendrick racecar is not the same as a Childress or Ganassi... and all of those are unlike a Penske or an SHR. And the spec Indycar, where a Penske entry really *is* just like one from Ganassi, is one reason (among several) why I have much less interest in IndyCar racing.

I'm also a financial & business realist. I know cost control is important for Nascar. But it's a slippery slope, those cost reductions “that don’t hurt the show,” so I hope Nascar is careful and smart about it.
 

StandOnIt

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I'm not worried about it much. I watched an extreme example for years in the IROC series. What they are rumored to be doing isn't very close to that. What teams have done is tweak and tweak and tweak(spend) for a part that gets them .003 seconds or less faster way past the point of diminishing returns into the ridiculous realm IMO. A big swipe at costs would be the rumored sealed engine extension. They were talking about as many as four races an engine. That would be interesting if the media could keep up with how many races an engine had on it. Kinda like the days of old when there was a real threat an engine would blow up.
 

gnomesayin

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I agree, the move toward greater commonality hardly excites me, but it seems to be the most viable and practical method to achieve the cost controls the owners need. Penske's public urgency on this suggests that the team financial model is severely out of whack. The thought of a road course car being no different than a speedway car really doesn't excite me, but oh well. I'd rather the series be healthy than pure.

I wish the IndyCar series success and growth, but I'm not sold that their current model is such a success as to be emulated. Yet Penske and Ganassi certainly know that they spend a lot less there. One thing that raises my eyebrow when I read estimates of the cost of $10 million or less to field a top flight team in IndyCar is: How much of that is spent solely on the Indy 500? That series features a single race that is more important to most involved than the other 16 combined. They race for $2.5 million to win and $200,000 to start at IMS and garner more exposure for sponsors there than during the rest of the season. They race comparatively for peanuts at most other venues, and the bulk of the series is run on shoestring budgets and a lot of passion.

It doesn't feel that comparable to NASCAR, unless the deathbedders are right and revenues are about to take an extreme tumble.
 

LewTheShoe

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One thing that raises my eyebrow when I read estimates of the cost of $10 million or less to field a top flight team in IndyCar is: How much of that is spent solely on the Indy 500?
I've read that IndyCar budgets are in the $6 million range, IIRC. I'd guess that includes little if any driver salary. I'd dearly love to see the results of the Nascar teams expense audit that was undertaken this year... but I'm sure I'll never see it.
 

Charlie Spencer

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A big swipe at costs would be the rumored sealed engine extension. They were talking about as many as four races an engine. That would be interesting if the media could keep up with how many races an engine had on it. Kinda like the days of old when there was a real threat an engine would blow up.
But, but, but muh burn-outs! :rolleyes:
I'd rather the series be healthy than pure.
I dated girls like that.

I don't see any harm in standardizing the tools that aren't directly associated with the car, like the pit guns, jacks, etc. Like SOI, I don't see this as reaching IROC levels. Getting annual costs down to $10m hopefully might make sponsorships more affordable and maybe lead to more, and more competitive, teams.
 

Charlie Spencer

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How much of that is spent solely on the Indy 500? That series features a single race that is more important to most involved than the other 16 combined. ... It doesn't feel that comparable to NASCAR, ...
How much is spent on Speedweeks and the All-Star weekend? IndyCar has nothing comparable to the Shootout, Duels, or All-Star races. Two of those don't award points and the third didn't until recently.
 

gnomesayin

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How much is spent on Speedweeks and the All-Star weekend? IndyCar has nothing comparable to the Shootout, Duels, or All-Star races. Two of those don't award points and the third didn't until recently.
My point is that IndyCar has one race that dwarfs the rest of the series. Financially, historically, etc. While the Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the season, it's not like that for NASCAR. The Cup Series would still be quite lucrative without it.

To your point, yes, surely substantial money is spent on those exhibition and preliminary events, but previously there was plenty of revenue year around to allow it. If cost savings are needed, they should look at that. Reports seem to indicate the Clash will be gone after next year.
 

MRM

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How much is spent on Speedweeks and the All-Star weekend? IndyCar has nothing comparable to the Shootout, Duels, or All-Star races. Two of those don't award points and the third didn't until recently.
Good point. If teams want to cut down on costs, they should petition NASCAR to eliminate these races. The All-Star race and the Clash usually involve a lot of wrecked cars, money down the toilet.
 

IanMcVittie

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Roger Penske’s business acumen may not be unassailable but it is very good. If he is sounding the alarm for cost cutting everyone else should form a line.

As others have pointed out reusing engines and common parts can represent significant savings. Ruthlessly eliminating employees from teams would be another way to attain cost savings. IDK what drivers salaries are but that is something else that needs to be looked at.

All of this will be an adjustment but I believe it will lead to a healthier series and possibly a better product.
 

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I think it will lean closer to the Supercars side. After O'Donnell and Probst went over there last year they (and Phelps) made it known it was more a sharing of ideas, fact-finding kind of trip than looking at a potential race. I imagine that's where they got the IRS idea from, and likely took a look at the various control parts. Probably looking to shed a few hundred pounds to get around the same weight as well to accompany the lower HP.
 

FLRacingFan

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Also, in the Nate Ryan piece Lew posted it sounds like they really want to get on-track testing started this year and the final product to debut in 2021...that still seems really ambitious to me, and I'd rather they flesh things out entirely and take all the time they need on development rather than put something out there for the sake of sticking to a schedule. If it's a fundamentally new car from the ground up it's better to take your time than start racing and realizing you have more kinks to work out inherent to the car that aren't that easy to fix or tweak.
 

gnomesayin

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I think it will lean closer to the Supercars side. After O'Donnell and Probst went over there last year they (and Phelps) made it known it was more a sharing of ideas, fact-finding kind of trip than looking at a potential race. I imagine that's where they got the IRS idea from, and likely took a look at the various control parts. Probably looking to shed a few hundred pounds to get around the same weight as well to accompany the lower HP.
I like the prospect of shedding a few hundred pounds. Would help considerably on road courses and really everywhere, and especially if they ever decided to try dirt :D (they won't, but it'll trickle down to Xfinity and Trucks where they will).
 

StandOnIt

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As far a shedding goes, anything that can reduce the influence of sponsors in the sport by reducing the dependence on them for so much funding would be a big win. I notice the IndyCar drivers can speak multiple sentences when interviewed without sounding like a sponsor bot.
 

LewTheShoe

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I think it will lean closer to the Supercars side. After O'Donnell and Probst went over there last year they (and Phelps) made it known it was more a sharing of ideas, fact-finding kind of trip than looking at a potential race. I imagine that's where they got the IRS idea from, and likely took a look at the various control parts. Probably looking to shed a few hundred pounds to get around the same weight as well to accompany the lower HP.
FL, do you know what the deal is for Supercars chassis? Is it a control part supplied from a single source, like the IndyCar Dallara chassis? Or are chassis built by multiple teams as in Nascar? It is a good point about that trip to Australia. I had forgotten about that.
 

FLRacingFan

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FL, do you know what the deal is for Supercars chassis? Is it a control part supplied from a single source, like the IndyCar Dallara chassis? Or are chassis built by multiple teams as in Nascar? It is a good point about that trip to Australia. I had forgotten about that.
The main 'spec' supplier is PACE Innovations - I know this is where Penske get their chassis from. It's possible for teams to become accredited builders and make their own, to the same dimensions, but I think PACE is where the bulk of them come from.

http://paceinnovations.com.au/supercars-car-of-the-future/
 

gnomesayin

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FL, do you know what the deal is for Supercars chassis? Is it a control part supplied from a single source, like the IndyCar Dallara chassis? Or are chassis built by multiple teams as in Nascar? It is a good point about that trip to Australia. I had forgotten about that.
Others probably know more in depth, but with the current generation that debuted several years ago, it became a control chassis, and the variance between the different manufacturers is tested and balanced. I believe there are multiple builders, but it is not the teams independently building their own.
 

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Danny Lawrence dishing huge knowledge on this topic on NASCAR Radio right now....

1) Independent rear suspensions
2) Potential for small displacement with some sort of "power adder" (forced induction)
3) Crankshafts and many parts are ordered a year in advance because of manufacture time
4) Overhead cams coming

Wow.
 

2 Sweet

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Danny Lawrence dishing huge knowledge on this topic on NASCAR Radio right now....

1) Independent rear suspensions
2) Potential for small displacement with some sort of "power adder" (forced induction)
3) Crankshafts and many parts are ordered a year in advance because of manufacture time
4) Overhead cams coming

Wow.
Can anyone explain why any of this is good or necessary? I thought they were trying to cut costs?
 

gnomesayin

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Can anyone explain why any of this is good or necessary? I thought they were trying to cut costs?
I believe the short answer is manufacturer relevance. It will be divisive, but I see some benefit to adopting more modern 'relevant' technologies.

I don't like that they've decided lower HP is the way to go, but given that they have, I'm glad they will be developing a smaller engine to the targeted power levels. I remember people being shouted down here for suggesting that made more sense, and that's exactly what NASCAR execs are saying now.
 

StandOnIt

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Penske is talking about standardized parts. As far as I am concerned rumors are flying. Probably be at least a year before most of it is finalized. I do believe IRS is a given. I thought a standardized chassis was coming, but I haven't read anything more about that lately. If they continue to talk about multiple different styles of engines, they have to go the way of BOP parity.
 

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I would guess standardized control chassis with balanced cosmetic manufacturer specific elements. How much room for development and gray area they're going to take away from the teams to achieve the cost savings is the crux of everything.
 

StandOnIt

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I'm sure some will find that a huge problem it it happens. Many were up in arms about composite bodies. Don't hear much about it now, I wonder if they are looking that way. Seems to be saving money and they can take a pretty good lick. Recently Penske said who would notice a 400 dollar driveshaft or a front upright that costs 2400$ or four different brakes on the corners. Yeah besides a few I think they can make a lot of changes and most won't know or care.
 

gnomesayin

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My personal opinion is that I'm in favor of much of the standardization at the Xfinity and Trucks levels, because in their current form, those just don't need to be engineering series. I'm less in favor of it at the Cup level, what is supposed to be the pinnacle of American auto racing. However, I recognize that economic reality may demand it.
 

LewTheShoe

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Penske is talking about standardized parts. As far as I am concerned rumors are flying. Probably be at least a year before most of it is finalized. I do believe IRS is a given. I thought a standardized chassis was coming, but I haven't read anything more about that lately. If they continue to talk about multiple different styles of engines, they have to go the way of BOP parity.
Probably right, and BOP sucks. When Steve Phelps appeared in the Dale Jr Download, I believe he was talking specifically about the new engine when he said something like... we are still using 1950's-1960's technology. When I heard that, my thought was... we'll probably see overhead cam V8's, maybe 4 liters or so. But now I see reference to blown or turbocharged motors, which I agree would require BOP... and I think that would be a slippery slippery slope.
My personal opinion is that I'm in favor of much of the standardization at the Xfinity and Trucks levels, because in their current form, those just don't need to be engineering series. I'm less in favor of it at the Cup level, what is supposed to be the pinnacle of American auto racing. However, I recognize that economic reality may demand it.
This is my sentiment as well.
 

Revman

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I'm sure some will find that a huge problem it it happens. Many were up in arms about composite bodies. Don't hear much about it now, I wonder if they are looking that way. Seems to be saving money and they can take a pretty good lick. Recently Penske said who would notice a 400 dollar driveshaft or a front upright that costs 2400$ or four different brakes on the corners. Yeah besides a few I think they can make a lot of changes and most won't know or care.
There is absolutely no question in my mind that the bodies will be composite for the Gen 7. Fabricators had better start looking for jobs now.
 

Revman

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My personal opinion is that I'm in favor of much of the standardization at the Xfinity and Trucks levels, because in their current form, those just don't need to be engineering series. I'm less in favor of it at the Cup level, what is supposed to be the pinnacle of American auto racing. However, I recognize that economic reality may demand it.
I agree here....even if I don't like it. Well said man.
 

Revman

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Can anyone explain why any of this is good or necessary? I thought they were trying to cut costs?
I think this will be the big swing to save the series. Hit or miss....anybody's guess. As @gnomesayin mentioned manufacturer relevance is probably a big piece of this. I like that part, but how relevant is anything with all of the talk about standardized parts? It's going to be interesting that is for sure.
 
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