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2021 the target for Gen-7 race car

Discussions and development of a next-generation stock car are well underway for NASCAR’s competition arm and the racing departments of the sport’s three participating manufacturers. As the goals for a seventh-generation racer become clearer, so has the target launch date – 2021.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, provided a progress update on the Gen-7 car for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series last week, giving the best timeline yet for the evolutionary vehicle’s schedule. Officials have indicated that this season’s rules package would serve as a bridge to the next-generation car, which is meant to attract new Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to compete alongside current participants Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.

"I think it’s important to note that the reason we headed in this direction with the 2019 rules package was really to line us up for where we wanted to go in the future from a racing standpoint, both on track from a car’s look and feel and then under the hood from an engine perspective," O’Donnell said. "If you look at a lot of the dialogue we’ve had with our existing OEMs, potential OEMs, there’s a lot of interest to do some things differently in terms of making the cars look even more like they do on the street, making sure that we can evolve some of our engine technology as well.

"So what we’ve done is spent the better part of a year putting together a Gen-7 model. We’re in process now of going out and talking to OEMs, talking in the industry and getting their feedback on what they like and what they may want to see tweaked, but the goal for us is to roll this out fairly quickly with an accelerated timeline to 2021, but again this rules package – particularly the engine horsepower – allows us to have some discussion around a more relevant engine that can be around the 2021 package."