Bubba Wallace Set to Test NASCAR Next Gen Car at Richmond Raceway This Week

Published 03/16/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – JANUARY 15: Erik Jones tests the Next Gen car at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


Even though the 2021 Cup season is in full swing, there are a few eyes trained on 2022. In light of this, NASCAR is expected to host its second Next Gen test of the 2021 season. This test is going to kick off on Wednesday at the Richmond Raceway, with 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace piloting the car for the one-day test.

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After that, Wallace will join the rest of his contemporaries at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the next race of the season. Obviously, there are still a few details to iron out before the cars can make their grand debut. There have already been several tests conducted since last year, and they are still continuing, to this day.

Bubba Wallace is not the only driver to get a taste of Next Gen machinery

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The last time the Next Gen car had a test run, it was in January at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. At that time, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch had taken over the reins. According to reports, his primary objective was to test some component adjustments of the Next Gen car.

Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez (99) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to that, the Next Gen car ran on a superspeedway for the very first time. Around that time, Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher drove the car at the Daytona International Speedway. Other tests included a multi-car run at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch had the honor of running the cars on track.

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Truthfully speaking, the Next Gen cars were supposed to make their debuts this year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a giant spanner in the works.

On the bright side, this has only served as a temporary setback and the Next Gen cars are definitely making an appearance. In addition to that, it gives NASCAR more time to work out any kinks.

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DIVE DEEPER

NASCAR Officials Provide Major Update on the Development Phase of Next Gen Car

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Dhruv George

11427 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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