Kurt Busch climbed out of the NASCAR NextGen prototype after the first day of a two-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway with rave reviews of the next style of car poised to appear in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022.
After spending a day, turned into night, of driving at the Charlotte Roval in the NextGen car, Busch was very excited about the new transmission in the NextGen, which is a six-speed sequential gear box instead of the standard four-speed H-pattern that has been used in NASCAR basically since 1949.
Busch also was bullish on the brake package being larger, which brings the car to a much quicker stop around a course such as the Charlotte Roval. In summary, Busch feels the new car is different and that’s what the 2004 NCS champion likes the most.
“But, overall, the car’s first impression is that it’s fun, it’s exciting and different, and I encourage everybody to dig into it to find its differences and to respect the process that NASCAR is going through to implement all these new, exciting components,” Busch explained.
So, what new components, aside from the transmission and brakes can we expect?
“A new front bulkhead, a new rear bulkhead, and, overall, the cars driving and its feel,” Busch said. “Out on the Roval, it feels like I’m qualifying every lap because of how impressive the lap times are and how much grip the car has in certain spots of the race track.”
The quickness of the car is something that Busch is not exaggerating about. In a prototype, which hasn’t been totally fiddled with to gain the most on-track speed by individual teams, Busch and Truex were turning unofficial timed laps around the Roval in the 84-second range early in the day, while the fastest laps in the last NCS event at the Roval were in the 85-second range, or slower. Busch would tweet after the session that the NextGen had actually gotten to three seconds faster than the Gen6 car by the end of the test on Monday.
There’s a definite speed advantage in the NextGen car.
Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who spent Monday on the Roval testing different components on the two NextGen prototypes (one built by NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing and one built by IMSA’s Action Express Racing) will return on Wednesday to test the same two cars on the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway oval.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.