The second and final day of the seventeen NASCAR Cup Series teams testing the Next Gen car at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval took place on Tuesday.
Twenty-one cars piloted by twenty-three drivers (a one-person increase from Monday) took to the track. The shared #19 Joe Gibbs Racing car of Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. set the fastest lap time of 1:18.573, though the number is greatly skewed as the car had missed a chicane. Hamlin eventually also took over the 23XI Racing machine from Bubba Wallace, which he co-owns, after his regular #11 car experienced issues that prevented him from turning laps in time.
Driver roster changes from Monday included Kevin Harvick taking over Stewart-Haas Racing‘s #4 from Chase Briscoe and Aric Almirola with SHR’s #14 from Cole Custer, William Byron driving Hendrick Motorsports‘ #5 rather than the duo of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, Justin Haley replacing A.J. Allmendinger in the #16 of Kaulig Racing, and Team Hezeberg, who had Loris Hezemans share the #27 with Jacques Villeneuve. Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula One World Champion and a current NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver like Hezemans, last raced in the Cup Series at Sonoma in 2013; coincidentally, his Cup début in 2007 came in a #27 car for Bill Davis. With his unsurprisingly impressive road racing background in open-wheel cars and road ringer status in NASCAR in the early 2010s, Villeneuve helped record the twelfth-best time. It was not all smooth sailing for the Canadian as he got loose re-entering the oval portion of the track, but was able to keep the car off the wall.
Another new team on the grid for 2022 is GMS Racing, whose Ty Dillon posted the slowest time of the twenty-one cars but set a faster pace than on Monday (1:24.011 on Tuesday versus 1:24.143 the day prior).
“It was a lot of fun getting to drive the new Camaro,” said Dillon. “These things are very fast and you can be really aggressive driving them. We got a lot of information and learned a lot about this new car that we have to fix system-wise, so we’re working really hard on that. There’s going to be a lot of learning up until next year, but boy, am I excited to drive these things full time.”
The next major Next Gen test will take place on 17/18 November on Charlotte’s oval layout, followed by Phoenix Raceway on 14/15 December and Daytona International Speedway on 11/12 January 2022. Further such sessions, known as organisational tests, might take place in the future at Martinsville Speedway, an intermediate-length track such as Kansas Speedway or Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and a third date that could either be a road course, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, or Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR also confirmed tyre tests at Bowman Gray Stadium, ahead of the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Wyche Raceway, in preparation for the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt round. Another tyre test is planned at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is undergoing a reconfiguration.
|Position||Number||Driver||Team||Manufacturer||Best Time||Margin||Best Speed||Laps|
|1||19||Denny Hamlin/Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||1:18.573||Leader||106.296||72|
|2||8||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||1:21.742||+ 3,169||102.175||132|
|3||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||1:21.996||+ 3.423||101.859||95|
|4||21||Austin Cindric||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||1:22.071||+ 3.498||101.766||83|
|5||14||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||1:22.152||+ 3.579||101.665||81|
|6||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||1:22.165||+ 3.592||101.649||97|
|7||51||Joey Hand||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||1:22.471||+ 3.898||101.272||105|
|8||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||1:22.610||+ 4.037||101.102||110|
|9||99||Daniel Suárez||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet||1:22.624||+ 4.051||101.084||38|
|10||7||Corey LaJoie||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||1:22.649||+ 4.076||101.054||54|
|11||42||Ross Chastain||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||1:22.773||+ 4.200||100.902||79|
|12||27||Jacques Villeneuve/Loris Hezemans||Team Hezeberg||Ford||1:22.811||+ 4.238||100.856||78|
|13||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||1:22.824||+ 4.251||100.840||89|
|14||48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1:22.890||+ 4.317||100.760||84|
|15||5||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1:22.940||+ 4.367||100.699||69|
|16||16||Justin Haley||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||1:23.182||+ 4.609||100.406||23|
|17||00||Kaz Grala||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet||1:23.292||+ 4.719||100.274||43|
|18||23||Bubba Wallace/Denny Hamlin||23XI Racing||Toyota||1:23.371||+ 4.798||100.179||47|
|19||43||Erik Jones||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||1:23.459||+ 4.886||100.073||53|
|20||17||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||1:23.599||+ 5.026||99.906||77|
|21||94||Ty Dillon||GMS Racing||Chevrolet||1:24.011||+ 5.438||99.416||50|