NASCAR competition officials have scheduled a two-day test of a potential new Cup Series rules configuration for short tracks and road courses for possible use in competition in 2024. Test days are set for Monday and Tuesday after this weekend‘s events at Richmond Raceway.
A new front splitter — informally labeled an “up/down splitter” internally and already called a “lift splitter” among some drivers — is the key aerodynamic component to be tested. Six Cup Series teams are scheduled to participate at the 0.75-mile track, with multiple 30-lap runs scheduled for the group both days. The two-day test was originally scheduled for earlier in the month after the race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but a forecast for inclement weather prompted competition officials to postpone the test, moving it to Richmond.
The package to be tested at Richmond takes a different tack with the Next Gen car‘s underbody, designed to mitigate the lingering effect of dirty air and provide more level aerodynamic footing for cars in traffic. Jacuzzi said no changes are planned at the test for the rear spoiler, which was reduced from a 4-inch height to a 2-inch blade for those track types before the season. Teams will also test with and without a filler panel, which would cover some of the bracing material aft of the new splitter. Two ride-height settings will also be tested — one with a maximum 3-inch ground clearance and the other open to any ride height.
Teams scheduled to participate in the two-day test at Richmond are:
— No. 20 — Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (driver Christopher Bell)
— No. 21 — Wood Brothers Racing Ford (Harrison Burton)
— No. 24 — Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (William Byron)
— No. 31 — Kaulig Racing Chevrolet (Justin Haley)
— No. 41 — Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (Ryan Preece)
— No. 42 — Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet (Noah Gragson)
The second day of the test will concentrate on testing Goodyear tire options, working to match the rules configuration with a softer, higher-wear compound. Jacuzzi said that based on feedback from drivers, NASCAR officials intentionally scheduled the test after a full race weekend so that teams could make runs on a rubbered-in track that more closely resembles racing conditions.
See more at NASCAR.com.