NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR Recreating Larson-Preece Talladega Crash to Learn More
Apr 24, 2023
Ahead of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR has chosen to make changes to the Next Gen chassis, following a thorough evaluation of a late-race accident at Talladega.
After further analysis of the vehicles damaged in a late-race accident in the NASCAR Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23, the sanctioning body has elected to implement two changes to the Next Gen chassis.
The accident, which occurred in NASCAR Overtime, saw Ryan Preece slam into the passenger-side door of Kyle Larson's No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro as it was sliding back up the 33-degree banking.
Both drivers were able to emerge from their respective vehicles without any injuries, but the concern regarding the accident came primarily from the damage sustained to the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro.
Larson's vehicle, which had been impacted in the passenger-side door by Preece, appeared to have at least one of the support bars out-of-place, having moved from their desired position within the door upon impact.
The sanctioning body then requested that Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing both bring their respective vehicles back to NASCAR's R&D Center for further evaluation, where it was later revealed that in collaboration with both teams, and Kyle Larson, NASCAR was attempting to recreate the accident.
Upon further review of the crash, NASCAR issued a memo to NASCAR Cup Series teams on May 12, detailing a pair of updates that would be made to the chassis, while also alerting the teams that further chassis updates are already under consideration.
These updates include the addition of six right-side door bar gussets that may be added in the areas outlined in the image provided below, as well as the complete removal of the front clip v-brace from the assembly, in hopes of reducing the stiffness of the clip.
All door bar gussets will be provided to NASCAR Cup Series teams without any additional costs and have the goal of strengthening a welded join, in order to limit further intrusion.
These changes will come into effect starting with Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as NASCAR conducts two days of crash testing - Wednesday and Thursday - in a crash-test facility in Ohio in order to get a further read on the changes applied.
Following the two-day crash-test, NASCAR says that the sanctioning body may be inclined to make additional changes to the Next Gen chassis, should their findings provide any concern or potential improvements to be made.
Image Courtesy of Chris Owens, HHP, Chevrolet Racing
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