NASCAR to debut electric race car February 4

Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

NASCAR will demonstrate its electric race car at the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum event on February 4, 2024. 

The concept car was tested over a three-day period at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway oval in Virginia in December. It completed 340 laps with part-time racer David Ragan at the wheel.

Prior to that, it was tested at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, North Carolina. Ragan is expected to drive the car in the exhibition on the LA Coliseum’s temporary oval track.

david ragan la coliseum driver debut electric race car nascar demonstration
David Ragan waves to the crowd during driver intros before the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona on August 28, 2022, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The sanctioning body is expected to develop a hydrogen-powered engine and test that, as well. Several NASCAR officials made a trip to Japan last year to watch hydrogen-powered cars compete in an endurance event. Toyota has been racing hydrogen-powered cars since 2021. Hydrogen may appeal more to NASCAR than battery power, since the engines would still make noise.

A story on quotes NASCAR’s vice president of vehicle design Brandon Thomas as saying that fans should not assume that electricity or hydrogen will replace gasoline-powered cars on the Cup circuit anytime soon.

“The [current] NextGen car does project to have hybrid-style power, but we’ve elected not to implement that to date.” Thomas said. “But it also has the ability to adopt full battery electric, and aspirational down the road, more hydrogen combustion, so that when the time comes, and someone says, ‘This is the car of the future,’ we don’t have to pull out the pencil and design it. We’ll already have it.”

The Busch Light clash is scheduled to air on Fox at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 4.

NASCAR Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum December 16 2023 Los Angeles California
December 16: Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum signage is displayed during the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the L.A. Coliseum NASCAR track at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 16, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images



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    This is not going to go well if they continue with EV race cars. It is the noise smell and the ability to build better engines.

    I can do slot cars in the basement if I want EV cars.

    great comment,, I left a negative comment today on ev cars,, that hagerty did not they had to review it..I bet it wont get are 100 % right about slot cars thats probably .what we will all be left with is slot cars in our basement..because they wont let us run our i c e cars

    Apples and oranges. And will the pit crews be able to re-charge as fast as other pit crews can fill a tank with petrol?

    Wherever there are 2 people with vehicles, there will be racing. Horses, chariots, gasoline cars, EV’s, etc. Maybe the people who watch gasoline car races won’t follow EV racing but there is a fan market for EV racing.

    Let’s not ASSume NASCAR is looking to just please just YOU. There are other people in the world that they are reaching out to.

    Only in California could you drive a golf cart in a circle inside a football stadium and call it a race. I won’t be watching. If NASCAR goes electric I am done as a fan. Can you imagine a 20 minute pit stop to recharge for the next 100 miles?

    If they did a full race of this would there be a halftime so the cars could charge up. I’m not interested in any way

    I quit paying attention to NASCAR when they stopped using real production cars.
    That was what, 1966, before most of you were alive.
    They’re nothing but generic “rolling billboard” slot cars today, imho. Might as well be electric… like slot cars.

    NASCAR started to die sometime between the deaths of Davey Allison & Dale Earnhardt – not because we lost those great drivers, but because of the meddling of the France Family and the board. Business schools should examine & teach classes on how a sport or industry assumed &ignored it’s fan base & squandered their dedication.

    Guess you haven’t kept up with NASCAR the last couple of years (or more). Unlike in the past the current NextGen car has leveled the playing field to the point the racing is actually exciting again. You don’t have the top 8 or 10 cars only on the lead lap and everyone else 2+ laps behind.

    Absolutely correct. Been done with Nascar when they got greedy and pushed out the real fans for a quick media market share which lasted 5 minutes. Knew they would crash and burn. One way or another. Electric racing: nobody cares, never will.

    What happens when an EV race car crashes and bursts into flames? At least at Daytona there might be enough water in Lake Lloyd to extinguish some flames. What a bunch of crap…

    At some point if the government keeps heading where it’s going now, they will make fuel for ICE so high no one will be able to afford to drive their classic. As for NASCAR, I’m too old school to sit and watch EVs. I won’t own one and I have no interest in watching them race no matter how quick or fast they are.

    Let’s see, race an electric car in a circle. The only limit is the tire traction and the wall. You need the wall so there’s some noise.
    I never thought there would be a form of racing more boring than circle track NASCAR but here it is.
    Maybe a tight road course with no ground effects and no limit on power. Only limit tire size. There will need to be lots of water features on the course so the cars can just be pushed in to the water when they catch on fire.
    Endurance racing EV’s is just such a bad idea.

    Here’s another thought. If the manufacturers want to develop cars that people want, make NASCAR race stock EVs. Maybe on the above mentioned road course.
    Just imagine, “Stock car” racing.

    Cars have been evolving since the 1880s and 1890s. Most of the people posting on here grew up in the 50s and 60s, and worship the cars from the 50s and 60s. They poopoo anything that has evolved and advanced since that time. I don’t think you can call yourselves car guys. You can just call yourselves crabby old men. You really should be able to accept anything that comes along as something different, but still a part of the car culture.

    In Formula E ( spin off of Formula 1) they would race till half way, then swap to a fully charged car to finish up rest of the way!

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