NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR holds preseason Next Gen test at Daytona

2 Mins read
Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Until 2014, the NASCAR Cup Series typically conducted a test session at Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the upcoming season nicknamed “Preseason Thunder”. Eight years later, it returned… sort of.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, seventeen cars took to the high banking of Daytona to practice drafting in the Next Gen car set to début in 2022. Both sessions were topped by Fords as rookie Harrison Burton was the fastest each time ahead of Team Penske ally and fellow Cup newcomer Austin Cindric, as well as another Penske entry driven by Joey Logano in the first and Ryan Blaney in the second.

With Kyle Larson in Oklahoma for the Chili Bowl Nationals, Hendrick Motorsports entrusted his #5 to Dale Earnhardt Jr., a two-time Daytona 500 winner who last raced in Cup in 2017. Earnhardt, who tested the Next Gen at Bowman Gray Stadium in October, was twelfth and fifth in two sessions.

Some teams with multiple drivers rotated for the second test day. For example, the Spire Motorsports #7 was shared by regular driver Corey LaJoie and Landon Cassill, who will run the Busch Light Clash in the team’s #77. Denny Hamlin skipped Day 2 after blowing an engine while in the draft in the first.

“It’s been a long two days and I would say that we were really happy with where we netted out here,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President for Innovation and Racing Development John Probst. “I feel like this was a pretty good extension of the test that we did in Atlanta about a week ago. We were able to dial in the package a little bit more than when we were here in late 2021.”

It was the second such session at Daytona after first testing in September. The final test before the Next Gen cars formally roll out at the Clash is scheduled at Phoenix Raceway.

Day 1 results

PositionNumberDriverTeamManufacturerBest TimeMarginBest Speed
121Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord48.843Leader184.264
22Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord48.844+ .001184.260
322Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord48.849+ .006184.241
47Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet49.944+ 1.101180.202
524William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet49.954+ 1.111180.166
611Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota49.969+ 1.126180.112
745Kurt Busch23XI RacingToyota50.055+ 1.212179.802
815Cody WareRick Ware RacingFord50.274+ 1.431179.019
943Erik JonesPetty GMS MotorsportsChevrolet50.473+ 1.630178.313
101Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet50.529+ 1.686178.116
116Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord50.568+ 1.725177.978
125Dale Earnhardt Jr.Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet50.839+ 1.996177.029
1338Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord50.914+ 2.071176.769
1427Jacques VilleneuveTeam HezebergFord50.930+ 2.087176.713
1547Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet50.949+ 2.106176.647
163Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet50.960+ 2.117176.609
1731Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet51.033+ 2.190176.356
1866Timmy HillMBM MotorsportsFord51.483+ 2.640174.815

Day 2 results

PositionNumberDriverTeamManufacturerBest TimeMarginBest Speed
121Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord46.082Leader195.304
22Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord46.118+ .036195.152
312Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord46.900+ .818191.898
443Ty DillonPetty GMS MotorsportsChevrolet47.360+ 1.278190.034
55Dale Earnhardt Jr.Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet47.365+ 1.283190.014
624William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet47.379+ 1.297189.958
71Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet47.390+ 1.308189.913
831Daniel HemricKaulig RacingChevrolet47.411+ 1.329189.829
97Landon CassillSpire MotorsportsChevrolet47.482+ 1.400189.546
1047Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet47.547+ 1.465189.286
1138Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord47.952+ 1.870187.688
1266Timmy HillMBM MotorsportsFord4.7965+ 1.883187.637
136Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord48.037+ 1.955187.356
1415Cody Ware/David RaganRick Ware RacingFord48.130+ 2.048186.994
1545Kurt Busch23XI RacingToyota49.692+ 3.610181.116
163Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet50.218+ 4.136179.219
1727Jacques VilleneuveTeam HezebergFord50.669+ 4.587177.623
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