Joey Logano said he’ll be keeping an open mind when he gets his chance to test NASCAR’s Next Gen race car.
The Team Penske driver will participate in a two-day test at ISM Raceway on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Logano will be just the second driver to get behind the wheel after the car was first driven by Austin Dillon in a two-day test at Richmond Raceway in October.
“I think a lot of it is just kind of understanding, for one, just some durability stuff but also understanding what works and what doesn’t,” said Logano. “Once we get to a certain point, I’d like to make some longer runs just to see where things go, but I think there’s just so many differences with the car that we need to understand.
“I think there’s some aero packages differences, there’s some tires we’re changing that’ll are going to be a little different, some drivability things, but I think it’s very much in the beginning of the development process.”
Next Gen is still scheduled for a 2021 debut. Body designs for the three OEMs are still in development.
NASCAR was pleased with what it saw two months ago after Dillon got the car on track for the very first time. John Probst, the senior vice president of innovation and racing development, said the test exceeded expectations.
In his season-ending address to the media, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the car would put the “stock” back in stock car. Officials and OEMs have also expressed a concentrated effort on making Next Gen resemble its street version.
Logano said it would be hard to dig into specifics of aero packages with just one car on the track. However, he’s looking forward to driving the prototype.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Logano. “I’m looking forward to getting back in a race car; it’s been a few weeks so I like doing that, and just really curious more than anything of how the thing’s going to drive, what it’s going to be like, especially with an independent rear (suspension).
“I think that’ll be interesting to say the least. And how they tune it and what we end up doing will be interesting.”