NASCAR Q&A: Roll-out of Next Gen car impressive, but real tests are still to come

The Daytona Beach News-Journal

You got Next Gen fever?

The full-on rotation of sweats and chills one minute, then merely a low-grade fever the next. Everything about it so far seems great, unless you’re among those who will miss the big gas cans (replaced by fuel hoses) and the musical screams of the air guns on lug nuts (replaced by a single, center hub). The bigger wheels, the stock-like bodies, the promise that the Have Nots will finally have a better chance of competing with the Haves. What’s not to like?

NASCAR formally unveiled its Next Gen cars last week in Charlotte.

OK, tell us?

We won’t know until they start testing the cars with actual traffic. Over the decades, NASCAR has gone back and forth with tweaks to the horsepower and aerodynamics, with every move designed to solve a problem or enhance the racing.

But nearly every time, one man’s solution became another man’s problem. Make it right for the drivers, the fans might not like it. And vice versa. As always, time will tell. Oh, one more thing: If only last week’s splashy intro had included talk of going to permanent color schemes for each team ... Yes, that remains a hill to die upon.

Ken Willis, ken.willis@news-jrnl.com