With the end of 2021 NASCAR season now complete, it should mean the opportunity to rest and recuperate after a frenetic year of racing. However, with the Daytona 500 being just a couple of months away, rest is certainly for the wicked.
Especially as there is the small matter of the Next-Gen car to be unveiled and with a further evolution of the Generation 6 car being promised, it means improved aero and downforce packages are just around the corner.
With such change, it means each of the teams that are competing in the 2022 edition of the NASCAR Cup Series will have to get to grips with the new technology that is coming their way and that means a winter of testing is soon to be on the agenda.
Because whoever can make sense of NASCAR’s latest iteration will stand themselves in good stead for championship success and whoever can get an advantage early on, will gain early supremacy in the standings.
When it comes to championship supremacy, one of the best bets today is backing who will be the winner of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series and for those who backed Kyle Larson in 2021, they would have been counting their dollars after this year’s Season Finale 500. The bookmakers are already favoring Larson to win the title in 2022 as he comes in at +250 to hoist the title. So it would be wise to check out this Bovada sportsbook review before the Daytona 500 kicks off in February.
With the NASCAR betting markets soon to reopen, picking a potential winner early on usually means greater odds on offers and if you are prepared to wait for a pay out, you could eventually be on the road to profitability.
Although when it comes to roads, it is the road to glory that Larson and his counterparts will be looking to travel on during 2022 and for the likes of Hendrick Motorsports, they will look to get to grips with their new look car quicker than anybody else.
As before, it will be a three-way shootout between Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota and although that status quo will remain for next year, it is no secret that NASCAR wants more manufacturers to join the party.
Which is part of the reason why the Next-Gen car has been unveiled and with lower costs at the forefront of its release, the barrier to NASCAR entry is one that could be significantly removed for 2023.
To the point where a familiar name to the sport, could be lured into a return and with Dodge giving serious consideration to the new regulations, they could end up being the fourth manufacturer that NASCAR are looking for.
The Dodge return has been one of, if not the biggest pitlane rumors of the past couple of months and the reason for such conjecture came about in November, when NASCAR President Steve Phelps was quizzed on the very topic.
When asked by Lee Spencer on SiriusXM Radio, he had this to say:
It’s been widely rumored that Dodge is one of those or closest [to joining NASCAR]. I won’t confirm or deny that….I would suggest things are progressing or I would say that things are progressing. When we have something to announce, we will.”
A statement that admittedly neither confirms nor denies a potential Dodge return for 2023. Then again, the fact that it is not a denial is something for us all to latch onto and if the marquee does come back to NASCAR, it will then have to do some shopping of its own.
Because if they build a car, they will need teams to switch from one of three existing manufacturers in operation and trying to sell a move from either Chevrolet, Ford, or Toyota could be one of the trickier aspects of any return.
Different but not impossible and with Team Penske running Dodge cars between 2003 and 2012, they would be top of the list in terms of who could potentially switch, and it is a list that could also Stewart-Haas Racing at the same time.
Even though costs may be cheaper, one must also remember that the combustion engine simply is not fashionable anymore and with more manufacturers going green, even cheaper racing is not enough to lure brands to NASCAR.
As more boardrooms around the world decide that electric is the answer, many feel that futureproof classes such as Formula E are in the best place to collect new additions and this in turn is limiting the appeal of petrol-based racing.
For example, you only have to look at Penske’s decision to leave Supercars in Australia or the DTM in Germany having to morph to GT3 regulations in order to survive and therefore, a Dodge comeback is by no means a given either.
Perhaps they will wait to see how the Next-Gen car is viewed by paying supporters and armchair fans before deciding and with time on their side, it is NASCAR who will end up having to play the waiting game.