Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kurt Busch tested a Next Gen car developed by Richard Childress and NASCAR. Logging in laps at the Charlotte Speedway, the 42-year-old was excited at the prospect of driving, in what would soon be an integral part of Cup Series racing.
Martin Truex Jr was also at the wheel of another car and felt similarly after the session. He believed it was a huge learning curve, with a special emphasis on the sequential gearbox in the vehicle.
Busch was quoted as saying, “The sound was very cool. I don’t get to hear cars a lot because I’m in the car racing. But to hear Truex go around and to hear the split exhaust, one pipe’s out the left, one pipe’s out the right, that’s an old-school, Trans-Am style thundering power feel.”
The 2004 Cup Series champ felt other aspects like the steering and noise, gave it a different feel compared to the traditional existing model. With previous such tests, NASCAR will feel they and the teams are edging closer to rolling out the Next Gen cars soon.
“But the car accelerates quicker, it stops quicker, it turns quicker, it’s more nimble. All the lap time that’s been gained is through the infield section with this independent rear suspension and the ability to shift quicker.”
“Really, the car is more effective and the car is more sensitive to changes and to feel. Even with a shorter sidewall the car is riding smooth, but you feel everything more vividly,” said Busch.
Clearly then, the signs look to be positive and approval from an experienced driver such as Busch has weight behind it. The cars would have trialed from the 2021 season onwards. But, the knock-on effects of the pandemic meant it had to shift to 2022.
Busch further added onto his thoughts saying, “There’s so much to look at and digest and feel. It’s been an impressive pickup of speed vs. the traditional car. That says Next Gen all over it when you’re going faster, turning better, accelerating harder and braking faster, because faster is better.”
There will be another testing session this coming Wednesday, this time on the track’s 1.5 miles oval stretch. One would imagine a fresh set of feedback pointers would be incoming then from Busch, following the same.