NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR to resume Next Gen testing at Dover, Action Express Racing doing own test at Daytona

2 Mins read
Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed the arrival of the NASCAR Cup SeriesNext Gen car to 2022, but NASCAR is still eager to get development and track time in. On Monday, the sanctioning body announced the seventh-generation vehicle will resume testing a week from now; the session will be a two-day test at Dover International Speedway, which is hosting all three national series during the upcoming weekend. Meanwhile, IMSA team Action Express Racing spent Monday conducting a test with its own Next Gen car on the Daytona International Speedway road course.

The Dover test will be the Next Gen car’s fifth NASCAR-sanctioned test, each of which has been on a different track to examine the car’s capabilities in various circuit types. Austin Dillon provided the first test in October 2019 at the short track Richmond Raceway, followed by Joey Logano at the one-mile Phoenix Raceway in December. The intermediate, 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted Erik Jones‘ test in January, while William Byron ran the car at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in March. Dover is a wide, one-mile track.

Cup rookie Cole Custer will perform the Dover test, the second Ford driver to run the Next Gen car after Logano. Although the testers represent different teams, their Next Gen test car features a generic body as manufacturers will provide their own wrinkles. Custer, currently twentieth in Cup points with a win, has enjoyed success at Dover with a victory in his final Xfinity Series start there in 2019. His Stewart-Haas Racing team-mate Clint Bowyer had been scheduled to test the car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March prior to the season being paused by COVID-19.

Although the Dover test is not until next week, the Next Gen car received a slightly different test on Monday at the Daytona road course, where Action Express Racing fielded its own prototype. The road course had recently hosted NASCAR national series races for the first time. AXR, a two-time winner of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, has ties to the stock car world via NASCAR CEO Jim France; France’s son J.C. also raced for the team.

Felipe Nasr, the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship titlist for AXR, and Saturday’s Xfinity race winner Austin Cindric lent their services to the test. While the test is not a NASCAR-connected session and AXR’s vehicle was built by the team itself, it provides NASCAR with another avenue to receive information on the car’s road course performance.

“The Action Express test allows a sports car team to learn about the architecture of the Next Gen car and explore any opportunities to adopt new technologies,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development John Probst explained. “The test also benefits NASCAR — it helps us check the durability of parts, helps with tire development and gives us data from a road course test.”

Kickin’ the Tires acquired photos from the test, with the corresponding article noting that the AXR Next Gen car had a “much deeper, or throatier,” engine sound than the current Generation-6 Cup cars.

Related posts
NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Cup COTA race dubbed Texas Grand Prix, tyre test set for early March with former champs

4 Mins read
The NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas will be named the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix (a term not common in NASCAR). In advance, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., and Brad Keselowski will do a tyre test next Tuesday.
NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Truck Series

Friday practice, heat races confirmed for NASCAR Bristol dirt weekend

2 Mins read
When the NASCAR Cup and Truck Series run the Bristol dirt race for the first time, heat races and a Friday practice session will precede the main events.
NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Points leaders Denny Hamlin, Austin Cindric to start on poles for Homestead

4 Mins read
NASCAR Cup points leader Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s race at Homestead, while Xfinity championship leader Austin Cindric will do the same for his series’ race the previous day.