NASCAR To Transition To Center Lock Wheels For 2021 Season – 18″ Aluminum BBS Wheels

NASCAR To Transition To Center Lock Wheels For 2021 Season – 18″ Aluminum BBS Wheels

In a move that has been meet with interesting reactions across the internet, NASCAR has announced that for the 2021 season the cars in the series will use a center lock style wheel and that wheel will be an 18″ diameter piece developed and supplied by famed manufacturer BBS. This will end the long reign of the 15″ wheel in stock car racing and likely deal a significant blow to the business of Aero Wheels that has been the chief supplier for NASCAR since 1997! The move is being made in the name of safety as officials claim that the aluminum wheel is less forgiving to potentially uneven torque and/or accidentally loose lug nuts. Whereas the steel wheel would bend or have its lug stuff holes wallowed out, an aluminum wheel would potentially break under those same conditions.

Center lock wheels have been a hallmark of IndyCar, F1, and sports car racing for many, many years and with NASCAR’s ownership of the professional sport car racing series here in the USA it would seem that this technology may have migrated over from that area into the new car that is being introduced for the 2021 season. One can go back to the styling cues of cars in the 1960s and see that many of them offered wheel covers that were intended look like the wheels were so-called “knock-offs” which was the term used for old center lock wheels that were tightened by smashing the winged center nut with a brass or soft hammer.

The one thing that no one has mentioned in this news cycle about the wheels is how it basically removes the last big accomplishment of a NASCAR legend. In 1970 Mario Rossi was the crew chief that told his crew guys to glue the lug nuts to the wheels before they competed in the then prestigious NASCAR pit crew challenge. His guys destroyed everyone because of this trick and it became standard operating procedure in NASCAR from the day forward. At the close of this season, that practice will go the way of the carburetor in stock car racing’s highest series.

The center locks are expected to significantly tighten up pit stops with regard to time.

NASCAR: Center lock wheels coming to NASCAR, 18″ BBS supplied aluminum rollers

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18 thoughts on “NASCAR To Transition To Center Lock Wheels For 2021 Season – 18″ Aluminum BBS Wheels

  1. john

    Now that they are eliminating one of the last variables of racing….what’s the next? IDEA….tie the cars together, front to back, side to side and only release them in the last 10 laps of the race….oh the carnage!!!! NASCAR has become like ancient Rome.

  2. David

    This actually, a financial move. The teams… even the low budget one…go through thousands of lug nuts, every year. If you’ve ever been on pit row, during or even, after a race, there are hundreds of lugs just laying around. They’re good for only one stop.

    I have several sitting on my book shelf…they just give them away.

    1. Chuck Finley

      It’s the Internet……everybody knows nothing, but speaks like an expert.
      Low budget teams…..thousands of lug nuts… about stupid comments.
      As someone who’s been working behind the wall at NASCAR Cup races since 1987, I can assure you that teams regularly reuse these steel lug nuts.We often picked them up off pit road and glued them on wheels during the race. If they choose to replace them, the teams buy them in bulk…..almost two for a buck. Replacing them with a single aluminum nut that cost thirty-ish dollars each isn’t a cost saving measure. That’s what the cheap sprint car hub nuts cost, and they are pretty cheesy. I’d expect that a 3400 pound car would need something a little more substantial.
      Let’s hope NASCAR brings more wreckers and medical staff to the races also. Nobody is going to be driving back to pit road after touching the wall with a 3400 pound car and aluminum wheels. Take Darlington as an example, how many cautions will they have because of broken wheels? How about the short tracks where the cars bounce wheels off each other almost every turn?
      Glad I’m retired now,

  3. Barfolomew

    Everyone commenting, you are all correct. NASCAR should live in the past and not evolve. Probably should go right back to carbs too!

  4. DG

    And it will still be like watching a toilet flush. Buncha crap going in a circle. Unless Reese Bobby shows up and starts putting live cougars in random cars and making them drive with the fear, I got no reason to watch or support it.

  5. Barry_R

    So NASCAR replaces an American steel wheel manufacturer with a German aluminum wheel manufacturer. Stick them on a Toyota branded vehicle shaped like a used bar of soap. Install a European or South American driver. And wonder why the seats in the Deep South are empty…

    Should just stick some offshore tires on there, some monochrome sponsor graphics from unidentifiable companies, and have them go right to the burnouts in the infield. Get the show over in thirty minutes or so. Nobody will care about the racing in circles for hours on end in a couple years anyhow.

  6. david kluttz

    Born and raised in the South I can remember when the old guys yelped and spit when a Yankee–I-talian ‘feriner’ named Mario Andretti ran a Nascar and it just went on from there.
    Nascar has BEEN DEAD and has been living like a Vampire for decades now

    Boggity Boggity ? Really?? Robots, ground gophers peaking up then ducking so they don’t get run over? etc etc etc Fire all the real good ole boys and replace with engineers from over seas at 20 times the salary? Bean counters, engineers, marketing, Corp’s running the show?

    It all stinks and i say again Nascar is DEAD!!!

    It is over!

  7. Dennis

    NASCAR has been lost for 20 years. They keep moving further away from what a production car looks like and what they would race like. NASCAR used to be more unique but moving closer to other series with this style wheel, sequential shifting, high down force, diffusers they may as well just run the IMSA cars.

  8. doug gregory

    I just don’t know anymore.

    So EFI….okay.
    18″ wheels….okay
    Aluminum wheels made overseas…..nope
    Single nut….is this still stock car racing…? Didn’t think so.
    They’ve lost their identity and the car of tomorrow and Toyota ushered all this crap into being.

    You can’t stand out if you make it like everything else.

    Not even Donald Long could help this series (well, he could help hype the danger and create a more wreck-friendly atmosphere).

    It’s a mess and until upper management changes….it will continue to tumble.

    Alienate their base and they aren’t doing much to attract new, dedicated fans.

    The chase, innings, big wings, featureless cars, etc. Seems nearly every move they’ve made in the past 15-20 years has done nothing but detract from and diminish their product.

  9. Pete231

    I say put Cleetus McFarland in charge of NASCAR. At least he would make it fun again. Just think : Every other car has to race around the track backwards. Mandatory burnouts in the pits at every stop. Let all the underdogs pack a 100 lb. tank of nitrous in the trunk. Put the Ben-Hur chariot wheel rippers on their fancy new wheels. You get the idea…….

  10. John Thrift

    I’m an ol’ dude from the 50’s. When modifieds were steel bodied hot rods and stock cars were driven out of the show room to the track..
    I admit, it wasn’t a lot of fun when Richard and the Big Boys would win by 15 laps but ingenuity and guts were honored.
    When it was found that you could stick a piece of tape on the grill for more down force, and maybe even win the race, I knew something was wrong .
    When they take cars to the wind tunnel to develop aero-dynamic bodies and then make them all equal, well hello I-Roc.
    I’m sad, but at least I can count on Our God being the same forever.

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