The fourth test for NASCAR Next Gen car, scheduled for competitive debut in 2021, was conducted Monday and Tuesday at Auto Club Speedway with Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron behind the wheel. One difference between the car Byron tested at ACS and the versions of the new car in the previous three tests was the single-lug nut wheel. NASCAR officials revealed Monday that the Cup Series would transition from a traditional five lug nut wheel to a single, center-locking lug nut wheel with the introduction of the new car next season.
The sanctioning body had already announced an increase in wheel size, from the current 15-inch wheel to an 18-inch wheel. Previous tests of the Next Gen car included a larger wheel, but with the traditional five lug nut design.
“For us, we felt like from a standpoint of the wheel is that we wanted to get to an 18-inch wheel, an aluminum wheel,” NASCAR Seinior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development John Probst said, as quoted in a . “Once you get to an 18-inch aluminum wheel, the next step for us is to make sure that from a durability standpoint under racing conditions is that it will accept the durability that we need to finish races and then also finish multiple races. To do that, the single nut was our only option.”
The new wheel isn’t expected to significantly change traditional pit stops, but it will eliminate the pre-race task of gluing lug nuts to wheels, as the new design will resuse the same lug nut from wheel to wheel because the lug nut will remain in the socket when wheels are changed.
365体育投注APP“One of the things when you look at the single nut, it actually is retained in the socket, so they’ll actually use the same single wheel nut for the entire race and likely multiple races,” Probst said. “They’ll use the same lug the entire time, so the concept of gluing lug nuts to tires goes away, which creates some efficiencies for us. There’s times when we have to open up the garage or pit road early on race day for no other reason than for the race teams to glue up 11 sets of tires. They can just use the wheels as they are without being glued.”