NASCAR's Phelps: Importance of Gen-7 car "cannot be overstated"

NASCAR President Steve Phelps reiterated the long-term success and health of the sport is tied to a successful rollout of the new Generation-7 Cup car and subsequent engine package.

NASCAR's Phelps: Importance of Gen-7 car "cannot be overstated"
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Sport Clips
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally an d Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Office
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro American Ethanol
Steve Phelps, NASCAR president
Monster pitbox
Steve Phelps, chief marketing officer for NASCAR, and emcee Danielle Trotta
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS
Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford Mustang Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Peak
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Express

NASCAR has been eyeing a 2021 debut for the car design with the new engine design to come the following year. 

Although some flexibility remains in the rollout schedule, Phelps said “his guess” was the car would be introduced in 2021.

“The majority of the garage is on board with the 2021 start,” Phelps said. “Are there some that ’22 might work better for? There might be. We have to figure out how we get full alignment on what that’s going to be, and that’s what we’re working on.

“When the engines follows is a question. There are those in the industry who have asked why don’t we just introduce one car? Are we on track for a body and chassis in 2021 for what we call Gen-7, the answer is ‘yes’.

“We have a lot of stakeholders in the garage who need to feel as good as we are about where that car is and when it should be introduced.”

Read Also:

Phelps said the engine introduction will likely come down to whether the sport’s current manufacturers would prefer 2022 or 2023.

“We do have some time and I think with the exiting OEMs and the opportunity to bring in new OEMs with the new engine, they are all aligned with finding some electrification to that engine,” he said. “What the rest of it looks like, we have some time to develop.”

Everyone in NASCAR has a vested interest in the development and rollout of the new car, Phelps said, and emphasized its wide-ranging ramifications.

“In my opinion, the importance of this car can’t be overstated. It will allow teams to be profitable. That’s what it comes down to,” he said. “I think it’s as simple as that. 

“The great news is that the fan will be the beneficiary as well, because I think the car will have better body styling that the fans I think will really enjoy. If we’re going to do this thing the right way – which we are – the racing, which is already fantastic, should get even better. 

“So I think the entire industry wins.”

Not many schedule changes expected

As far as the 2021 Cup schedule goes, Phelps said he doesn’t expect the number of races (currently 36 points-paying races) will change.

“How deep those schedule changes go, I’m unsure at this point,” he said. “There are lots of models that are being developed. Asking NBC what their ideal schedule is, we’ve done that. Asking FOX what their ideal schedule is, we’ve done that. 

Read Also:

“Asking the OEMs where they want to be, asking the teams where they want to be, it all goes into a large data bank, and then we’re starting to craft what these models would look like that we think would be in the best interest of where fans want to race and have full grandstands.”

shares
comments
Logano will start on pole at Daytona after qualifying cancelled

Previous article

Logano will start on pole at Daytona after qualifying cancelled

Next article

Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart kick off launch of NASCAR Heat 4 

Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart kick off launch of NASCAR Heat 4 
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020