Testin of the Next Gen car for the NASCAR Cup Series continues with a two-day Goodyear tire test at Darlington Raceway to conclude on Wednesday. Richard Childress Racing driver Tyler Reddick is taking his first turn behind the wheel of the car, set to make its competitive debut in 2022, in the Darlington test.
“I heard how much different this car was, and I wanted to see it for myself,” Reddick said. “Darlington is one of the top-three, four most challenging tracks we get around. It might be the most difficult. This track in turns one-two is different than three-four. I really wanted to get to drive this car and see what this thing’s like at a track that I’m comfortable at. I have a good understanding of this track and what it takes to get rubbered in and what direction to go to, hopefully, find us the best tire.”
According to NASCAR, the developmental stage for the new race car is completed, but testing continues for tires, manufacturers and race teams. Future tire tests already are scheduled for Texas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
“The goal is to leave here with Goodyear having enough information to make a decision on the tire for next year’s events with the Next Gen car. Day 1 has been very good,” NASCAR Managing Director of Vehicle Systems Research and Development Brandon Thomas said. “A lot of short-run stuff where they can test a lot of options. Just looking towards what’s the grip level like, what’s the fall-off like, what’s the feel of the car comparatively.”
Reddick posted a video to his Twitter account (@TylerReddick) during the first day of testing Tuesaday in which he said he though Darlington was even more challenging in the new car.
“This is a tough track,” Reddick said. “The surface is aggressive and really creates some amazing racing with the tire fall off. But it’s a tough challenge to get this track rubbered in with only one car and really get the long runs going on a green track that has sat this long.”