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NASCAR Announces Next Gen Updates Starting at Atlanta

Multiple safety updates have been made to the NASCAR Cup Series’ Next Gen car starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR announced June 8.

A new front-clip structure meant to create a larger crush zone for prospective impacts has been revealed.

Additionally, a steel plate is being added to the right side as an added cushion against impact.

“We’ve taken a lot of the steel structural members and removed material from key elements to make this structure less stiff,” Dr. John Patalak, vp safety engineering at NASCAR, said. “We have slots on both sides, we have deleted some cross members between the upright mounts and we’ve treated some of the areas down low that are some of the first to contact the wall on the front clip.

“We’ve also added slots to this ballast container as well as some holes, and it’s all an effort to increase the amount of displacement we’re getting out of the car and to reduce the accelerations that the driver is experiencing.”

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The most recent changes come after an accident at Talladega Superspeedway between Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece.

“The right-side door bars of the center section is getting a steel plate welded to it and really what it does it’s strengthening the right-side door bars against intrusion for crashes like we saw at Talladega with the [Nos.] 5 and 41,” Patalak said. “We reconstructed that crash at a test facility and we’re pleased with the performance where we’re hanging on to everything. We still do have bent door bars but minimal intrusion and much better performance.”

The Atlanta Cup race is set for July 9.

A full rundown and explanation of the changes can be found here.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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Bill B

I guess my only problem with all of it is that they should have waited longer to introduce the new car. You’d think they could have worked a little longer on verifying the safety of the car before rolling it out. In too many cases they are reactive and not proactive. There are a lot of weak spots on these cars both safety and parts wise.

Bobby DK

Airbags anyone? Been on many accidents and I’ve been mostly amazed by the effectiveness. Minimal times hurt more than helped.

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