The Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro has officially taken on a dirt track, albeit with a different driver. Camping World Truck Series championship contender Stewart Friesen has put the car through its paces to provide information to both Goodyear and NASCAR.
The driver of the No. 52 Toyota Tundra headed to Lancaster Motor Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in Lancaster, S.C., on Thursday, December 9. Friesen got behind the wheel of a Next Gen stock car from Richard Childress Racing and took several laps while the experts on hand took a considerable amount of notes.
The purpose of the test was to provide more information about which tire to use for the second-annual Bristol Motor Speedway dirt race. This race will take place in the evening on Sunday, April 17. Friesen was a fitting choice to take part in the test due to his schedule that includes year-round dirt races, as well as full-time seasons in the Truck Series.
3 Cup Series Drivers Took Part in Another Next Gen Test
While Friesen headed to South Carolina for his dirt test, three other drivers suited up at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s oval track. Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott took part in a session closed to the public and media members.
This test — originally scheduled for December 10 — took place one day early due to the weather. The three drivers helped NASCAR test out some ideas ahead of a larger organizational test that will take place on December 15 and 17 and will feature one to two cars from each organization.
The upcoming two-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway will feature a significant change from previous sessions. Instead of holding the tests on consecutive days, NASCAR will use December 16 as a “cold day” so that the teams can further analyze their data and make adjustments.
Questions Remain About the Next Gen Cars
The start of the 2022 season is roughly 70 days away, and teams are preparing to fight for a win at the Daytona 500 (February 20, 2022). However, they continue to take part in test sessions to get the Next Gen stock cars in the best possible spot.
Many drivers have mentioned concerns about the heat, the steering, and the horsepower after previous sessions, creating questions about the readiness of the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Toyota Camry. NASCAR and the various teams have implemented measures to address these concerns, but the questions will likely remain until the drivers finish the Busch Light Clash on February 6.
“I don’t have a ton of experience with the old car, but the new car definitely has some tendencies I feel like that are similar to the old car,” Chase Briscoe told media members during a partner reveal on December 10. “But the biggest thing, that I think is kind of obvious, is you can drive the car way harder than the current car, but that kind of – that window you have of being on the edge is a lot smaller in the NextGen car versus the older car. It was just a way bigger window. You can drive that car way harder, but the potential to go over that edge is way smaller.
“It’s going to be very interesting. I think we’re still trying to figure out what the car is going to drive like. The package continually changes. I’ve been able to drive it once on a road course, once on the oval. I’ll drive it again next week on an oval. I’m excited for it. It’s something different.”