Steve O’Donnell Gives Update on the 670HP NASCAR Package; Daytona & Talladega Exempt

Published 12/19/2021, 4:30 AM EST
May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) leads the field on turn 4 during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

With NASCAR shifting to the Next Gen cars from 2022, certain configurations are being tested for the best combinations currently. One of those configurations is of the engines; specifically, the engine horsepower.

NASCAR EVP Steve O’Donnell recently commented on the likelihood of the horsepower number we’ll see from next year. He explained how the testing outcomes have made them go with the 670hp package.

“I would say we are more than likely going with that number across all of our tracks,” O’Donnell said about the higher horsepower package.

“We’ve still got a few boxes to check post-test here where we get together with our OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and the teams and confirm that is the direction we want to go with. Everything we’ve seen so far tells us that is the horsepower we want to target and go with.”

According to O’Donnell, the engines will be 670hp for almost all the tracks except Daytona and Talladega. As for Atlanta, O’Donnell explained the plan is for it to fall into the category of ‘superspeedway’.

But that will become more clear after the January 5-6 tests at the reconfigured track.

NASCAR could still attract new OEMs with the higher horsepower package

Initially, one of the biggest strong points of the lower horsepower package was that it would attract new OEMs to the sport. But O’Donnell believes that a shift to 670hp is still ‘within range.’

He said, “If we go 670 that’s absolutely within a range to attract a new OEM.”

“We’ve had discussions with a number of new OEMs and that factor is within that, so that wouldn’t be a detriment to someone coming into the sport.”

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – NOVEMBER 17: Michael McDowell driver of the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford drives during NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on November 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
NASCAR has high hopes for the Next Gen cars. The outcomes from testing hold the key to the best possible combination of aero and engine configurations for the Next Gen car.
Let’s see if what they go ahead with is indeed the right combination.

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Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.