NASCAR plans to introduce a new-specification of car – labelled the Gen-7 – for the 2021 season that will feature more single-specification parts as a means of lowering costs and being more attractive to new manufacturers.
Once the chassis side of Gen-7 is finalised for the 2021 season, which should coincide with a revamp of race distances and the schedule, attention will then turn to the powertrain side. When asked if hybrid-assisted engines would play a part in that next generation, NASCAR’s vice president of innovation and racing development, John Probst, told Motorsport.com in February: “That is on the radar for sure. But we’re early with that discussion.”
Speaking at the Le Mans 24 Hours test at the weekend, Rushbrook suggested that hybrid power would only be used on suitable tracks, such as road courses and short ovals, both of which would generate the braking energy required to power a KERS-style system.
“There’s a lot of open discussion of hybrids in NASCAR,” said Rushbrook. “It’s just a matter of when, not if. It’s probably in the 2022-2023 timeframe.
“It doesn’t need to be at every track. If you put a hybrid in for the Daytona 500, where you’re wide open throughout the whole lap, it doesn’t make sense. For a short course like Martinsville or a road course like Watkins Glen, the hybrid makes sense.
“I would expect that when it gets introduced it would be some subset of races are entirely ICE and some subset of races are hybrid.”
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Snap on
Rusty Jarrett / NKP / LAT Images