NASCAR’S NEXT GENERATION
In recent years it has become quite evident that NASCAR is viewership is slowly declining. If you told a motorsport fan 15 years ago about the troubles the series is currently facing, they probably wouldn’t believe you but there is no denying the lack of interested the sport has garnered over the past few years. While this decline can be attributed to many factors such as the retirement of many NASCAR legends such as Jeff Gordon as well as an aging fan base, NASCAR recently announced a set of next gen cars in hopes to revive the sport. The main attraction of this announcement is that this set of cars, which is being called “Generation 7”, is one of the biggest leaps the series has taken both mechanically and aesthetically. Therefore, this will be a new look for the sport that very may well be deserving of new fans.
To begin, one of the first things that will catch your eyes at the release of these new cars is the appearance. With this generation they have really taken the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” mantra to another level as these cars aren’t far from something you could see on your commute to work. The remodeling of the boxy look the cars have sported over the past few decades was well overdue and they hit the nail on the head with this one. These. Look. Cool. While NASCAR's decline can be attributed to many reasons aside from its outdated look, this change is a great first step to attract new fans. Even for someone like myself who isn’t particularly invested in the current state of NASCAR, it is hard to deny that these changes are intriguing. Overall, the look is much sleeker and muscly than its predecessor and not only does it look better in appearance, but it also plans to outperform the old generation despite its massive changes.
Sticking on the theme of matching the look of the cars to those that can be found on any highway across North America, this mindset has now extended to the actual technology used within the car. One of the most predominate and exciting shifts happening within the automotive industry right now is the one towards electric vehicles. With many other racing series have hopped on this wave of electric vehicles/incorporating electric components into their series already like Electric GT and formula E, NASCAR aims to join the party as this new generation will have the capability to go hybrid and eventually electric. This is an exciting change for NASCAR as well as one that is indicative of their openness to new technologies in their pursuit for new fans.
Lastly for those who see the shift to as a negative thing, don’t worry because they still aim to consider one of the biggest and most notable aspects of the sport... The sound. While most motorsport fans can agree that the sound of a formula E car is something to cringe at, NASCAR is determined to maintain a sound similar to that we all know and love. Therefore, preserving an aspect of the sport that is vital to its culture.
Overall, while we might not be seeing a fully electric NASCAR series anytime soon and many of the other problems plaguing NASCAR still exist, this is a fantastic first step for the renaissance of NASCAR and should stir a considerable amount of excitement around the series moving forward.