NASCAR’s Next Gen car spent two days getting a shakedown at Richmond Raceway in a test John Probst said exceeded expectations.
Austin Dillon drove the car, which had been built by Richard Childress Racing in collaboration with NASCAR. The car has been in development for more than two years and is still on schedule for a 2021 debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“This is an important milestone for the Next Gen car and the future of stock car racing,” said Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development. “There are so many new systems on the car from the front to the back that our main goal with this test was to log laps and put miles on them. The test has met – and even exceeded – our expectations, and we are well on our way to developing the final iteration of the car.”
All three manufacturers are still developing their body styles, so the car Dillon drove at the test did not have a specific design. However, it did feature aerodynamic elements NASCAR is looking at implementing, including using 18-inch wheels.
Dillon offered a look at the car on his Instagram account.
“I really enjoyed driving the car,” Dillon said. “I like the way that it looks, you can see the finished product down the road. The OEMs can make the body look really good, like a street car that you see on the road today. When it comes together and they all get their cars on the track, we’re going to have something to work with that also looks really good.”
The Next Gen car is being described as one that will “honor stock car racing’s roots with bodies that resemble their street versions while incorporating new vehicle technology and innovation.”
For the test, Dillon drove a car that is one of two prototypes that have been built. The second car was built by NASCAR and was tested in the wind tunnel for the first time last week. NASCAR says it will return to the wind tunnel later this week, and another on-track test is expected to occur before the end of the year.
“We have a very comprehensive test plan,” Probst said. “We will be doing extensive wind tunnel testing to ensure liftoff speeds are appropriate before moving to larger tracks. As we move into 2020, we will begin testing on intermediate tracks, superspeedways, and road courses.”