Monday, March 20, 2023

Chris Buescher to test Next Gen model at Daytona International Speedway

Kurt Busch drives the NASCAR Next Gen car during the NASCAR Cup Series test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on November 16, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR will finally bring their Next Gen model to incredible speeds in a two-day test at the Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Roush Fenway Racing driver Chris Buescher will take the wheel of NASCAR’s Next Gen “P3” prototype, marking the first NASCAR-sanctioned test of the Next Gen car at a superspeedway. Buescher’s selection follows the NASCAR established pattern of rotating the drivers of Next Gen testing based on the manufacturers.

The “P3” prototype was last tested by former Cup Series champions Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. at Charlotte Motor Speedway in November, marking the first time that two Next Gen cars were on-track together at the same time.

John Probst, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, claimed that single car runs “will be important as we start to tune in the drag and power levels we’re going to need to run the speeds we want to run there” according to a article on the subject.

Probst also mentioned back in November that NASCAR was working with Goodyear on tire testing for the Next Gen car, likely signaling a busy year for testing as the car prepares for its official debut at Daytona in the 2022 season.

NASCAR’s originally wanted the Next Gen car to make its debut in 2021, however with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, the sanctioning body opted to delay the car another year.

This is not the first time, at least in NASCAR, that a future model’s delivery time was shifted.

When NASCAR implemented the Car of Tomorrow back in 2007, the original plan called for the C.O.T. to run a partial scheduled in 2007 and 2008 before moving to a full-time effort in 2009. However, to save costs to the teams, NASCAR was eyeing potentially moving full-time with the C.O.T. in 2008, all before the C.O.T. even ran its debut race at Bristol in 2007.

The plan was confirmed, and NASCAR moved the C.O.T. to a full-time schedule in 2008, with 16 races being ran in 2007.

As for Chevrolet, Toyota, and Ford, they are all expected to have their finalized builds of the their Next Gen cars submitted to NASCAR by the middle of next season.

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