Erik Jones will be the driver in the third test of the Cup Series’ Next Gen car this week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The test is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the 1.5-mile track and is open to ticket holders of the March 22 Cup race there.
Jones, who is entering his third Cup season with Joe Gibbs Racing, is the first Toyota driver to test the Next Gen car, which is scheduled to debut in 2021. Jones follows Austin Dillon‘s (Chevrolet) test at Richmond Raceway in October and Joey Logano‘s (Ford) test at Phoenix Raceway in December.
After two tests on flat ovals 1 mile or less in length, this will be the first time the car will see action on a banked oval greater than 1 mile.
After the Phoenix test John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing innovation, said it was a “logical progression from Richmond” for testing the car.
“A lot of the testing we needed to do before we head to a track like Homestead – which is where we’re headed next – wasn’t completed at Richmond,” Probst said. “For us it was a really good progression from Richmond loads and speeds, and now we’re creeping the speeds up to start really testing out a lot of the mechanical parts and pieces on the car.”
NASCAR President Steve Phelps said during championship weekend in Miami that the car is expected to be delivered to teams in July of this year.
Sources told NBC Sports’s Nate Ryan in December that at least three companies are being strongly considered to build the chassis for the Next Gen car, including Joe Gibbs Racing.
In a video he posted to Instagram, Logano detailed his reaction to driving the Next Gen car.
🚨 @NASCAR #NextGen Public Viewing Information: Jan. 15/16 🚨
Grandstand viewing is available for #DixieVodka400 ticket holders!!@Erik_Jones | @JoeGibbsRacing pic.twitter.com/v5eXDAjrqC
— Homestead-Miami Speedway (@HomesteadMiami) January 13, 2020