NASCAR’s next-gen car hits virtual track Wednesday
On Wednesday afternoon, NASCAR will kick off the next generation of racing by unveiling the three Next Gen cars that will debut in 2022. Hours later, fans will see the vehicles on a virtual track. All three cars will showcase the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series iRacing event in Darlington.
The live stream of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. Fox Sports 1 will be covering the event with Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy calling the action. Larry McReynolds will join coverage to provide analysis.
Wednesday night’s race will feature the biggest names in auto racing, a roster that includes Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Alex Bowman. The race will also feature special guests in Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte and fan vote winner Jesse Iwuji. Wednesday night’s event will mark the second consecutive Pro Invitational series where Iwuji will join the pitch after winning the fan vote.
Several drivers tested the Next Gen car on different tracks
NASCAR has spent a considerable amount of time preparing for the unveiling of the Next Gen car. Despite not making its debut until 2022, the new model has made several laps around some fan favorite tracks. Drivers such as Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Tyler Reddick, among others, tested the new race car and then gave insight into their experiences.
âI really enjoyed using it and got better as it went, learning what he can and can’t do there in the end,â Buescher explained after taking the Next Gen car. around Daytona International Speedway in December, according to NASCAR Media. âThe brakes are great and I know it’s not even a short track setup, but they stop extremely well. There will be no problem getting to the pit lane and not having the braking power, it will just be a matter of not turning.
While Buescher praised the brakes after his test at Daytona, Busch highlighted a different side. He explained that he loved the new sequential gearbox that forces drivers up or down depending on the gear they need to hit. The new car no longer features the âH-patternâ shifter from current and previous iterations.
Reddick had some early experiences at Track Too Tough to Tame
Tyler Reddick Tests Next Gen Car at Darlington Tire Test – https://t.co/JKGX6CPfTD
Tyler Reddick took his turn behind the wheel of the Next Gen car in a two-day Goodyear tire test that began Tuesday at Darlington Raceway. A second day of testing is scheduled for Wednesday … pic.twitter.com/eNHGFcnSlD
– AutoRacing1.com (@ AutoRacing1) April 7, 2021
When the riders head to the Darlington Raceway virtual circuit on Wednesday, there will be one with some experience. Reddick has already tested the Next Gen car on the notoriously difficult track, even giving it the infamous “Darlington Stripe”. He later explained that there were considerable differences between the current 15 inch tire and the new 18 inch version which will showcase the Next Gen car. Finding the right rubber configuration will take some work.
âI heard how different this car was and wanted to see it for myself. Darlington is one of the toughest 3-4 trails we ride, âReddick said in April. âIt could be the most difficult. This track in laps 1-2 is different from 3-4. I really wanted to drive this car and see what this stuff looks like on a track I’m comfortable with. I have a good understanding of this track, what it takes to get rid of it and where to go to hopefully find the best tire for us.
Reddick will now have the opportunity to enjoy his practice laps during the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race on Wednesday evening. He will face his fellow Cup Series drivers, as well as some special guests, while trying to avoid hitting the wall at full speed.
READ NEXT: Kevin Harvick gives perspective on winless season