Next Gen car proves challenging to drivers at Charlotte test
CONCORD, N.C. – The opening 5 hours of the Next Gen organizational test on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval saw one auto accident and 3 others spin.
“I think you’re going to see people crash a lot more than normal,” Alex Bowman stated Wednesday after running a couple of laps. “I don’t remember the last test that we’ve been to that multiple guys were spinning out and crashing.”
Austin Dillon was the very first to crash, although slick conditions in Turns 1 and 2 seemed more of an aspect than anything else. He struck the wall a couple of minutes after Wednesday’s session began at 9 a.m. The vehicle moved up the track and knocked into the SAFER barrier. Dillon was unimpaired.
The front end of the vehicle suffered substantial damage. Dillon’s vehicle was transferred to Richard Childress Racing in hopes of getting it fixed to check at night (Wednesday’s session is set up to end at 8 p.m. ET) or be prepared for Thursday’s session.
Belief amongst those with the No. 3 group was that the track was slick from early morning dew which added to Dillon’s crash.
Bowman was on track when Dillon crashed and experienced those difficult conditions.
“I’m not sure what was up with (Turns) 1 and 2,” Bowman stated. “It was really slick down there. Visibly, there wasn’t anything on the racetrack, but it was definitely slick when we got going. I don’t know what that was, whether it was a just a cold track or dusty, but it was definitely slick that first run.”
Others who spun in the very first 5 hours of screening consisted of brand-new Cup champ Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and a Rick Ware Racing vehicle.
Larson spun on the apron early in the session and after that spun off Turn 4 quickly prior to 1:30 p.m. ET in what was set up to be his last run of the day.
Hamlin likewise spun in Turn 4. He did not strike the wall.
Bowman stated it is a modification for chauffeurs with this brand-new vehicle.
“I would say the difficulty level by yourself is way, way harder than the previous Gen car was,” Bowman stated. “The previous Gen car, like you could drive it really, really hard, especially here (and at Auto Club Speedway), the slick bumpy racetracks. You could run the thing sideways all day and not spin it out and slide it around quite a bit.
“This current car, it seems like you can slide it a little bit, but the line is much narrower, and if you cross it, you end up spinning out.”
Bowman was asked if it would make good sense for a group of vehicles to run together at some time throughout this two-day test to see how the vehicles respond in traffic.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen once people become more comfortable,” he stated. “I think we need to know how the cars are going to react in traffic and around each other. They’re not going to make more grip. With all of us kind of on edge right now, we probably should get them dialed in a little closer first.”
Quickly after 2 p.m. ET, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and a Rick Ware Racing vehicle ran laps in close distance.
NASCAR likewise has Next Gen organizational tests set up Dec. 14-15 at Phoenix, Jan. 11-12 at Daytona and in late January at Las Vegas.
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Next Gen vehicle shows challenging to chauffeurs at Charlotte test initially appeared on NBCSports.com
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.