NASCAR announced on Monday a new design to the NASCAR Cup Series wheel and tire for the 2021 NASCAR Series when they debut the new NexGen race car.
The new wheel will be a 18” center lock aluminum wheel. John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation mentioned why this is an important change ahead of the new NASCAR NexGen race car.
“One of our main goals with the Next Gen car is to provide a vehicle that better replicates what our OEM partners sell in the showroom – both in looks and relevant technology. Moving to an 18″ forged aluminum wheel helps do just that.”
“Once the decision was made to go that direction, we tested different lug nut options. With the loads on the larger wheels, we had to make sure that the wheel would remain securely fastened the car. The single lug, center lock design was the best way to accomplish this.” said Probst in a statement.
John went on to say that although a new look on the race cars, this new design will not change the way NASCAR completes its pitstops.
“The choreography of a pit stop won’t change. You’ll still have the same over-the-wall crew members you have today, and rules related to when they can enter the pit box are still in effect.”
“It will still be important for the tire changers to be quick off the wall to get to the far side of the car. Hand-eye coordination remains extremely important, you’re still trying to get the lug and tire on and off the car faster than 39 other teams. The overall way a pit stop looks will remain the same.”
“In terms of timing, the torque is higher on the single lug, which means they have to leave the gun on longer. In our testing, we’ve found that it takes approximately half a second to properly tighten this new lug. Today, a good tire changer can remove five lugs in about .8 seconds. So, while pit stops may be a touch quicker next year, it won’t be a significant difference.”
There will be no changes to the wheel design in the NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Gander and RV Truck Series for 2021.