NASCAR holds final Next Gen test at Phoenix

The next time the NASCAR Cup SeriesNext Gen cars drive on a track, it will be in a race. Tuesday and Wednesday saw Phoenix Raceway host the seventh-generation car’s final organisational test ahead of its racing début in the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The test came two weeks after another two-day session was held at Daytona International Speedway, where the first points race with the Next Gen car will take place in the form of the Daytona 500 on 20 February. Conversely, Phoenix is the final race of the season on 6 November.

Reigning champion Kyle Larson was the fastest in the first day of testing, while Ryan Blaney led the way in the second. Much of the cars that tested at Daytona returned for Phoenix with the exception of Spire Motorsports, MBM Motorsports, and Rick Ware Racing. RWR’s ally Stewart-Haas Racing sent two cars of its own driven by Kevin Harvick and Chase Briscoe.

It was not an entirely clean session. On Tuesday, Kyle Busch spun in turn four but avoided hitting the wall. Todd Gilliland was not as fortunate a day later as his spin resulted in contact.

“We may have some general ideas, but there’s nothing concrete yet until we go out there and race,” said Joey Logano“When you say comfortable, I’m far from comfortable. There’s nothing I really know for certain is coming my way.”

“I don’t have, honestly, one thing that bothers me about the car,” opined Daniel Suárez. “That’s my honest opinion, so I’m happy. I’m happy for the change, I’m happy for where the sport is heading, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Multiple tests have taken place of different forms since the car was revealed in late 2019, from the superspeedways of Daytona to the Charlotte Roval, which NASCAR used to set and refine the rules packages that the sanctioning body hopes will properly usher in a new era. And now, it’s time to race.

Day 1 results

Position Number Driver Team Manufacturer Best Time Margin Best Speed
1 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.329 Leader 131.728
2 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.474 + .145 131.033
3 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 27.500 + .171 130.909
4 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 27.534 + .205 130.747
5 23 Kurt Busch/Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota 27.563 + .234 130.610
6 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 27.583 + .254 130.515
7 17 Chris Buescher RFK Racing Ford 27.592 + .263 130.473
8 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.611 + .282 130.383
9 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 27.648 + .319 130.208
10 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.743 + .414 129.762
11 1 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 27.781 + .452 129.585
12 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.784 + .455 129.571
13 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 27.809 + .480 129.454
14 31 Daniel Hemric Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 27.848 + .519 129.272
15 21 Austin Cindric Wood Brothers Racing Ford 27.894 + .565 129.060
16 38 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 28.004 + .675 128.553
17 42 Ty Dillon Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet 28.147 + .818 127.900
18 27 Loris Hezemans Team Hezeberg Ford 28.721 + 1.392 125.344

Day 2 results

Position Number Driver Team Manufacturer Best Time Margin Best Speed
1 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 27.292 Leader 131.907
2 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 27.327 + .035 131.738
3 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 27.376 + .084 131.502
4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.413 + .121 131.325
5 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 27.457 + .165 131.114
6 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.481 + .189 131.000
7 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 27.594 + .302 130.463
8 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.607 + .315 130.402
9 1 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 27.641 + .349 130.241
10 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.645 + .353 130.222
11 17 Brad Keselowski RFK Racing Ford 27.688 + .396 130.020
12 23 Bubba Wallace/Kurt Busch 23XI Racing Toyota 27.705 + .413 129.420
13 21 Harrison Burton Wood Brothers Racing Ford 27.713 + .421 129.903
14 31 Justin Haley Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 27.748 + .456 129.739
15 42 Ty Dillon Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet 27.781 + .489 129.585
16 8 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.786 + .494 129.562
17 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 27.826 + .534 129.375
18 27 Loris Hezemans Team Hezeberg Ford 27.928 + .636 128.903

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