NASCAR competition officials said they were pleased with the outcome of a brief Tuesday afternoon test of the Next Gen car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch drove the prototype at the 1.5-mile track as officials worked to sort through adjustments to some of the car’s components. The model is set to debut in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022, and Tuesday’s closed session marked its first on-track time since a one-day test at Daytona International Speedway last month.
“We had a successful test at Charlotte Motor Speedway today and were able to validate some work we’ve done since our recent tests at Charlotte and Daytona,” said John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation. “We wanted to return to Charlotte with Kurt to collect direct comparisons of data and driver feedback. We’re happy with what we saw on the track today.”
Busch was the first driver to be called upon for a second time shaking down the Next Gen model. In his first stint, he tested alongside Martin Truex Jr. at the Charlotte venue in November, marking the first time two prototypes shared the track at the same time.
“I was honored to get a call to come back and verify things from our last test,” Busch said. “I haven’t been in our current car since then, so it’s good for me mentally to have that benchmark and be able to explain what the car is doing on the track. It’s great to see the progress from November to January and know that we’re headed in the right direction.”
A full schedule for the Next Gen testing in 2021 has not been announced. Probst indicated last month that three or four tire tests with Goodyear officials were tentatively scheduled for the first half of the year.