Joey Logano is scheduled to drive the NASCAR Cup Series’ Next Gen car in its second on-track test Monday and Tuesday at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
Logano will pilot the same prototype that first hit the track Oct. 8-9 at Richmond Raceway, with Austin Dillon behind the wheel. That test car was built by Richard Childress Racing in collaboration with NASCAR.
The car is scheduled for its competition debut in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.
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Logano offered a preview of his drive during Champion’s Week media availabilities last week in Nashville, Tennessee, saying he was entering the test without preconceived notions about the Next Gen car.
“I think I need to leave my mind open,” Logano said Wednesday. “I think a lot of it is just understanding, for one, just some durability stuff but also just understanding what works and what doesn’t. I’d like to, once we get to some point, I’d like to make some longer runs just to kind of see where things go, but I think there’s just so many differences with the car that we need to understand.
“I think there’s some aero package differences, some tires we’re changing will be a little different and some drivability things, but I think it’s still very much in the beginnings of the development process. With only having one car out there, it’s hard to say one aero package over another besides just an aero balance, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to getting back in a race car. It’s been a few weeks, so I like doing that, and just curious more than anything of just how this thing’s going to drive.”
Richmond offered the first glimpse of the Next Gen racer, which debuted with a camouflage wrap, larger wheels and a new profile. NASCAR president Steve Phelps said in his 2019 “State of the Sport” address that the new car was intended to correlate more closely with its highway-going counterparts, saying “We are going to put the ‘stock’ back in stock car.”
Phelps added that the car is on target for its 2021 debut at Daytona Speedweeks, and that some type of electrification or energy-recovery system will also be a component of its development.
Another test of the Next Gen car is scheduled in January at 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 1-mile ISM Raceway track will host two Cup Series race weekends in 2020, including the season finale Nov. 8.