2022 will prove to be a game-changing and defining year for the NASCAR Cup Series, courtesy of the proposed NASCAR Next Gen car. Some drivers have already tested the prototypes at different racetracks, with Kurt Busch recently having a second run out at the Charlotte Roval.
Referring to their tests back in November, NASCAR naturally wanted to evaluate the performance of the different components from similar prototypes. In doing so, drivers’ feedback plays a crucial part and the experience of Busch proved quite valuable in this case.
John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, talked about the validation of their work and progress. Even the CGR No.1, Busch, had some words of praise following the session.
Probst stated, “We had a successful test at Charlotte Motor Speedway today and were able to validate some work we’ve done since our recent tests at Charlotte and Daytona. We wanted to return to Charlotte with Kurt to collect direct comparisons of data and driver feedback.
“We’re happy with what we saw on the track today.”
Busch had previously alongside Martin Truex Jr tested out one of the prototypes back in November 2020. During that time, both racers had some interesting observations to make about the sequential gearbox and power steering system.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver said, “I was honored to get a call to come back and verify things from our last test. I haven’t been in our current car since then, so it’s good for me mentally to have that benchmark and be able to explain what the car is doing on the track.
“It’s great to see the progress from November to January and know that we’re headed in the right direction,” concluded Busch.
NASCAR also reportedly has a few more testing sessions planned with tire manufacturer Goodyear’s officials in 2021. A few more drivers will also undertake the responsibility of testing more models to determine and deliver their personal feedback.
It would herald the entry of a new era in Cup Series racing after the 2021 campaign is over. With a progressive approach in the sport, NASCAR fans will be eager to watch what lies ahead when these cars become a commonality from 2022 onwards.