CONCORD, N.C. — To begin its second round of open testing on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval, NASCAR tried three configurations on the Next Gen car that will make its 2022 debut.
A roster of 14 teams worked individually and in groups with each aerodynamic-engine combination during the eight-hour test Wednesday at the 1.5-mile oval. NASCAR officials were working on improving handling in traffic before settling on a final package for next season.
According to NASCAR.com, the three packages tested were:
–550-horsepower engine and 7-inch spoiler;
–670-horsepower engine and 6-inch spoiler;
–670-horsepower engine with a 6-inch spoiler shifted to the right.
The three packages also featured a bevy of uniformly implemented aerodynamic tweaks.
NASCAR planned to spend Wednesday night and Thursday evaluating the results of the session before returning for another 8-hour test Friday with a single configuration.
Teams are testing three different configurations at Charlotte today. They get some individual time to dial it in followed by a group run (for each one). Lining up for first group run of the day. pic.twitter.com/BbC08mlIhq
— Josh Hamilton (@joshahamilton) December 15, 2021
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney led the session with a 182.014 mph lap that was nearly a second faster than the best lap (175.718 mph by Kevin Harvick) that was posted in the Nov. 17-18 test at Charlotte. Blaney’s No. 12 Ford also was faster than the top lap (180.935-mph by Austin Dillon) with the 550-horsepower package in the final Gen 6 practice on the track last May.
There were a few incidents during the test, which began at 8 a.m.
Not how we drew it up. Crazy with this car, it was really loose by itself, when the 10 pulls down car gets really tight (won’t turn) then when the 10 slides up the track, car gains a bunch of front downforce and snaps. https://t.co/SH4zCa559q
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) December 15, 2021
The test session was paused for cleanup after Reddick’s No. 8 Chevrolet slid into the sand barrels at the entrance to the pits.
Reddick was evaluated and released from the care center after driving away from the scene. The Richard Childress Racing driver tweeted that his car sustained some steering and body damage, and that his team would miss the final four hours of the test while making repairs for Friday.
The No. 8 car's impact with the sand-filled safety barrels. pic.twitter.com/ci3yuP71Gi
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) December 15, 2021