Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. got their first taste of NASCAR’s Next Gen car slated for the 2022 Cup Series season on Monday.
The pair participated in the first of a two-day test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch and Truex opened the week testing separate cars on the 2.32-mile oval/road course layout. Taking a day in between to transition track configurations, Wednesday’s session will be held on the 1.5-mile D-shaped track.
Busch will pilot the "Prototype 3" car prepared by Richard Childress Racing in conjunction with NASCAR in both sessions. The third prototype, or "P3" as it’s referred to internally, features an ECR engine and was previously tested by NASCAR at Auto Club Speedway and Dover International Speedway.
The most substantial changes Truex noticed include bigger tires, sequential shifting with more gears in the transmission and bigger brakes.
"It does everything a little bit better," Truex said. "A little bit easier to drive in general around the road course. It turns really well. We’re having a few issues with the steering on the big track. If the car bottoms out, it really goes haywire, but otherwise, it’s all been good, and it’s been solid and fun to drive so far."
Another talking point in Monday’s test was the sound of the engine at speed, which provides a deeper tone than the current car. Truex explained that’s due to a more old-school approach with the exhaust system with tailpipes coming out of each side of the car.
On Wednesday, the cars will run closer together in order to study how the cars will react in true racing conditions.
— NASCAR.com —