With NASCAR Next Gen Car Revealed, on to the Important Stuff: Number Placement
- NASCAR Cup Series teams are exploring the potential value of moving numbers off the door next season when the Next Gen car, just revealed on May 5, officially debuts at Daytona.
- The numbers were moved to the lower front quarter-panel as an experiment during the All-Star Race last season at Bristol Motor Speedway. That event also featured experimental underglow.
- NASCAR president Steve Phelps says no decision has been reached concerning number placement for next season.
Now that the Next Gen NASCAR racer has made its official debut, the next question is, where will the numbers appear on them? A decision has not yet been made on where the numbers will be placed once the next-generation NASCAR Cup Series car debuts in February during Daytona Speedweeks. The option of moving them has been discussed ever since a new placement was first utilized during the 2019 All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, but with no immediate resolution.
On one hand, moving the numbers to the lower rear quarter-panel would give sponsors the entirety of the door area, which could also become more important due to the addition of a radiator duct on the hood of all three Next Gen cars.
On the other hand, there is a large contingent of fans who reject the idea, citing recent history and tradition.
The Race Team Alliance, which is composed of most major Cup Series team owners, collectively ordered a study from Nielsen on the potential value of moving numbers around on cars. That data is expected to be shared with NASCAR as the two groups collectively decide on a direction with the new car next season. In the meanwhile, NASCAR president Steve Phelps says the sanctioning body hasn’t reached any sort of independent conclusion.
"No decisions yet on the numbers," Phelps said."That was really the decision of the manufacturers, how they were going to do the styling of their own vehicles, the paint-outs, which wheels they were going to put on because there are different wheel options they could have. That was really up to them.
"We're doing some research right now. We did some research when we did the numbers initially at All-Star last year. You know what, it's mixed. There are some fans that absolutely hate it, and there are fans that absolutely love it, so no decision as to what we're going to do on where those numbers are going to be placed. We're working with our teams on it. The teams are fielding a study, as well, right now. So that’s kind of a TBD."