May 23, 2022


Long term news

COTA and NASCAR’s Next Gen car were made for each other

In my only trip to Circuit of the Americas, to cover the NTT IndyCar Series race in 2019, I must admit I didn’t come away thinking that place would be perfect for NASCAR.

But I do remember watching a support series that weekend, the Mazda MX-5 Cup, and being amazed how perfect COTA is for a spec series. The racing was door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper and three/four/five-wide at certain places on the track.

Which spawned this thought when NASCAR’s NextGen package was introduced: If those spec Mazdas could create high drama at the spectacular facility in Austin, Texas, could the new NextGen car be a natural at COTA? NASCAR raced last year at the track, but the impact was muffled because rain caused an early end to the race.