NASCAR EV to Debut at the Clash, Series Also Exploring Hydrogen Power
NASCAR isn’t on the cutting-edge of motorsports technology, and least not mechanically, but the series is apparently looking to its future. One that could include NASCAR EVs or cars with hydrogen fuel cells.
NASCAR will debut its all-electric development car during the Feb. 3-4 Clash at the Coliseum at the Los Angeles Coliseum, according to a post by Fox’s Bob Pockrass on X. The development car reportedly completed 340 laps at Martinsville over three days of testing. Pockrass noted the car was “within a couple tenths of a second” from lap times set by a current Cup Series car.
The report also apparently confirms an image of a supposed NASCAR EV race car uploaded to social media last year is the series’ test mule. The test car has a more crossover-like body with no apparent ties to a specific manufacturer. An image of the supposed test car showed it sported a large rear spoiler reminiscent of a GT race car instead of traditional NASCAR-style spoiler. The car that will make its debut at the Clash sports working headlights, according to Pockrass.
David Ragan, who drove the car during its Martinsville test, will showcase the EV development car on track during the Clash weekend. Ragan is attempting to make the Daytona 500 field this year in Roush Fenway Keselowski’s new Stage 60 program.
Concurrently, NASCAR is also exploring hydrogen power, Pockrass noted, presumably an hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Hydrogen would be more in-line with NASCAR’s needs to complete 400-600 miles on speedways. However, there are no current plans for a new series with EVs or hydrogen FCEVs.
Still the exploration phase opens the possibility such a series could be developed in the future.
NASCAR hasn’t announced when the demonstration drive will take place during the Clash. The weekend kicks off Feb. 3 with qualifying for the NASCAR Mexico Series practice and qualifying. The NMS race takes place at 1:30 p.m. PT Feb. 4.
Cup Series practices being Feb. 3 with the field divided into three groups. Each driver’s fastest lap time from the practice sessions will determine their starting lineup for the four 25-lap heat races beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT. The top-five finishing drivers from each heat race will earn a berth in the Clash. Those that finish outside the top-five can still earn a spot in the main event in the 75-lap Last Chance Qualifier Race Feb. 4. The top two drivers in that race will advance to the Clash. Another spot will be awarded to the driver who placed highest in the 2023 Cup Series points standings who fails to earn a berth.
The 150-lap Clash kicks off at 5 p.m. PT Feb. 4. Caution laps will not count toward the 150-lap total, and no overtime sessions will be run.