Tony Stewart Finally Delivers His Verdict on the Much-anticipated 2022 NASCAR Cars

Published 11/12/2021, 6:38 AM EST
PHOENIX – NOVEMBER 5: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet, looks on before his qualifying run for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 on November 5, 2004 at the Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)


Tony Stewart raced in NASCAR from 1996 until 2016 and saw the sport go through lots of changes. One of which was the cars. The Hall Of Famer drove three generations of cars, from Gen 4 to the most recent but now retired, Gen 6.

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From next season, a new generation of cars will take over in NASCAR, aptly named the ‘Next Gen’. And Tony Stewart, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. got behind its wheel and put in some laps for the Goodyear Tire Test at the Bowman Gray Stadium. The test was done to determine the best compound ahead of the Next-Gen car’s debut.

“It was fun today to get a chance to come up here, to be invited by NASCAR to come up and do the tire test for the Coliseum race,” Stewart said.

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Stewart explained how the difference between Radial ties and Bias Ply tires will enable the driver to stand out and do more work.

“We don’t want those cars to drive perfect, we want them to struggle a little bit to get them going,” Stewart said.

The tire change also makes a big ‘feel’ difference in Stewart’s opinion.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 17: Team owner Tony Stewart stands on the grid during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

However, Stewart probably didn’t have the smoothest of experience driving the new car, considering this was the first time he got inside a stock car in the last five years.

“It’s definitely easier to lock the front left tyre up, I think the centre of gravity is a little higher in this car, it’s going to make the drivers have to drive more.”

Earnhardt Jr. gives the reason for the struggle of Tony Stewart

Dale Earnhardt Jr. described Stewart’s testing experience of the Radial vs Bias Ply difference and its effects on Tony Stewart’s laps.

“We saw Tony step out a couple of times here and spin the car out,” Earnhardt said as reported in Kick In The Tyres.

“He’s noted that the shorter side wall tire, it’s a little harder to understand when that tire is going to lose the grip.”

Earnhardt Jr. who put in some laps himself explained that struggling or rather adapting to a new tyre at Bowman Gray Stadium wasn’t a first. NASCAR transitioned from Bias Ply tyres to Radials in 1989 and then too, drivers struggled initially.

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“We went through this same sort of thing when they went away from the bias-ply to the radial tire.”

The Next-Gen car will go through plenty more tests ahead of its debut at the L.A. Coliseum in February 2022.

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Do you think drivers will struggle in the new car or will they transition easily?

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Shaharyar

192 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A Graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for the better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in the future.

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