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DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Austin Cindric, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Blue DEF/PEAK Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) | Getty Images
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Austin Cindric, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Blue DEF/PEAK Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) | Getty Images

NASCAR Happy with Next Gen Car at Daytona

Sunday’s Daytona 500 was the first time a full field of 40 Next Gen cars appeared on the track in racing conditions.

The racing was fairly typical of most superspeedway races, with a handful of multi-car wrecks but the carbon-fiber composite bodies appeared to stand up better in accidents.

“The car allowed the drivers to put on a great race today, and we saw a great deal of promise for the future,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

“We certainly came away with some items we want to review and improve upon. Overall, a very positive first points race for the Next Gen car.”

Motorsport

AND: Racing execs were nearly unanimous in their assessment that the overall weekend around the Daytona 500 was a success for the sport and had one of the best auras around the event in at least half a decade, if not far longer. The race was held before about 140,000 fans, and while the 101,500-seat grandstand had been sold out every year in recent years except the pandemic-impacted ’21 event, this was the first complete sellout in some time that included all suites, infield camping spots and the infield fan zone general admission capacity limit. It was also the earliest announced sellout that many industry execs could remember.

Sports Business Journal