With the 2020 race season now concluded, NASCAR is continuing testing of its Next Gen car prototypes, with two vehicles running over two days at Charlotte Speedway, on both the full oval and road course. The cars were built by Richard Childress Racing and IMSA team Action Express Racing, with Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr performing driving duties.
NASCAR SVP of innovation John Probst commented after the test, “It’s been a long three days at Charlotte – it started Monday with the road course test which we felt went really well. Both drivers were very complimentary of how the cars handled with the increased brakes and sequential shifter, it was pretty much anticipated that they’d like that over what we have today.
“Tuesday wasn’t on track but nonetheless was a really important day for us – it was the first time we took two cars and converted them from road course spec to oval spec. We got through a lot of really good data for Goodyear. We feel like we have enough data to make a suggestion for the tire when we come back here in 2022 – we have to keep that in mind, we’re still more than a year out from this car making its debut.”
However, when it came to the oval section of the test, results were less positive. The test was the first time NASCAR had two cars running on track together. Probst noted, “Feedback today frankly wasn’t as good as it was on the road course. We collected a significant amount of data from the last three days that we’ll start going through at 8:00am tomorrow morning at the R&D center. We’ll figure out what modifications we need to make. We’ll enlist the help of our OEMs and teams to help us make the right decisions here as we finalize the design of this car in the next few months.”
The next planned test for the cars will be in mid-December at Daytona speedway and will be the first running of the cars on a superspeedway. “It will be single car runs which will be important as we start to tune in the drag and power levels we’re going to need to run the speeds we want to run there.
“Beyond that, we’re working on a tire test plan with Goodyear right now. That will likely have seven or eight tests for 2021. The OEMs are currently wrapping up the builds of their own vehicles and we will look to start wheel force transducer (WFT) testing in March with all three cars on the track together,” concluded Probst.