Here’s what to know about today’s NextGen test at Auto Club Speedway

Next Gen car
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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The next generation of NASCAR’s NextGen car will hit the track today at Auto Club Speedway.

Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron will be driving what NASCAR is calling a “Phase 3 Prototype” over the next two days on the 2-mile oval. The brand new P3 will closely resemble the ballyhooed and dramatically overhauled NextGen car that will make its official debut on NASCAR’s premier circuit next season in what some are calling a “moon shot” for the Cup Series.

Erik Jones tested the NextGen car at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Michael Reaves/Getty Images).

The car will replace the Gen 6 in 2021, and its third iteration features many updates based off the feedback garnered from the three tests over the past five months with the P2 Prototype (the original NextGen prototype was tested only in the wind tunnel).

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon (at Richmond Raceway last October), Team Penske’s Joey Logano (at Phoenix Raceway last December) and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones (at Homestead-Miami-Speedway in January) logged a total of 1,011 miles on the P2.

Besides a common chassis, the car also will feature 18-inch aluminum wheels, a sequential gear shifter, rear diffusers and a smaller spoiler.

Here are answers to some pressing questions entering today’s test in Fontana, California:

What has been updated on the car? Teams and drivers said the P2 was difficult to work on, so NASCAR has made adjustments. The front clip has been opened up to allow easier access to valve covers. Some of the rear compartment structure has been altered for greater efficiency and speed in changing sway bars during a practice session. Installation and removal of shocks, springs and other tuning components also should be swifter. The new car also will offer better visibility for drivers.

–What else is new? With several vendors having been selected that will be the exclusive suppliers for the NextGen car, the P3 will feature some of the parts and pieces from the companies that will play a major role in the 2021 rollout. The car will be as close as possible to what NASCAR intends to race before vendors begin producing in bulk for teams.

–When will teams begin getting the new car? NASCAR still is on track for vendors to begin making parts and pieces so that teams will begin taking delivery on NextGen cars at the end of July. There have been signs that some vendors are beginning to set up shop in North Carolina.

When is the next test? It will take place after the March 15 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As NASCAR cycles through its manufacturers with each test (Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Chevy has been the rotation so far), a Ford driver will be behind the wheel. Though the team has yet to be confirmed, Stewart-Haas Racing or Roush Fenway Racing would seem likely candidates after a Team Penske driver (Logano) was at Phoenix.

Monday Charlotte Cup race: Start time, TV info, weather

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After two days of soaking rains, the longest race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is set for a 3 p.m. ET start Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 600-mile marathon was scheduled for a 6:21 p.m. start Sunday, but persistent rain forced a postponement to Memorial Day.

A look at the Monday Cup schedule:

Details for Monday’s Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:12 p.m. by USO official Barry Morris and retired drivers Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte. … The green flag is scheduled to be waved at 3:23 p.m.

PRERACE: Driver introductions are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given by retired Air Force Master Sergeant Monty Self at 3 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Elizabeth Marino at 3:04 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 400 laps (600 miles) on the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 100. Stage 2 ends at Lap 200. Stage 3 ends at Lap 300.

STARTING LINEUP: Charlotte Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 3 p.m. and can be heard on goprn.com. … SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: Foxsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — The forecast calls for overcast skies with a high of 71. There is a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Denny Hamlin won last year’s 600 as the race was extended to two overtimes, making it the longest race in distance in Cup history.

Monday Charlotte Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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Charlotte Motor Speedway’s rescheduled NASCAR Xfinity Series race is set for an 11 a.m. start Monday.

The race originally was scheduled Saturday, but was postponed by weather to noon Monday. After Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race also was postponed to Monday, the Xfinity Series race was moved to an 11 a.m. start.

A look at the Monday Xfinity schedule:

Details for Monday’s Xfinity race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 11:01 a.m. by representatives of race sponsor Alsco Uniforms … The green flag is scheduled to be waved at 11:12 a.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opened at 8 a.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.

STARTING LINEUP: Charlotte Xfinity starting lineup (Justin Haley will replace Kyle Busch in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing car).

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 11 a.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 11 a.m. and can be heard on goprn.com. … SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: Foxsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — The forecast calls for overcast skies with a high of 71. There is a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Josh Berry won last May’s Xfinity race. Ty Gibbs was second and Sam Mayer third.

Justin Haley replaces Kyle Busch in Kaulig car for Xfinity race

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Justin Haley will drive Kaulig Racing’s No. 10 car in Monday morning’s scheduled NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Haley replaces Cup Series regular Kyle Busch, who was scheduled to drive for Kaulig in the 300-miler. The race was postponed from Saturday to Monday because of weather, giving NASCAR a 900-mile doubleheader at the track.

Busch decided to concentrate on the Coca-Cola 600 Cup race, scheduled for a  3 p.m. start.

Haley also will race in the 600.

Ty Gibbs is scheduled to run in both races.

Charlotte Cup race postponed to Monday by weather

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CONCORD, N.C. — All-day rain Sunday forced the postponement of the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup Series race to Monday.

The postponement means that Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled to host 900 miles of stock car racing Monday. A 300-mile Xfinity Series race, originally scheduled Saturday and first postponed to noon Monday, has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. ET Monday (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The Cup race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (Fox, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Sunday’s Cup race was scheduled to start at 6:21 p.m. ET, but light rain was still falling at that time in the speedway area near Charlotte. Rain intensified a few minutes later and, despite an evening forecast that showed slight improvement, officials decided at 6:30 p.m. to postpone the race.

Monday’s forecast calls for a 34% chance of rain at the start of the Xfinity race and a 30% chance at the start of the Cup race.

William Byron will start the race from the pole after qualifying was washed out Saturday night.