Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer comment after NASCAR short track test
NASCAR is set to go short track racing, for real this time. Not 1/2 short track, 1/4-mile bullring racing. And they’re going to do it on a big stage inside the LA Coliseum.
Ahead of the 2022 season opener, NASCAR too the Next Gen car to test at Bowman Gray Stadium. The North Carolina track is a similar 1/4-mile oval.
The NASCAR Next Gen car will make it;s debut in 2022. The car is a drastic overhaul for the gen design. It’s a spec machine, all chassis’ will be the same in 2022, regardless of manufacture.
And, the 2022 NASCAR season will open with a new track as well. The Clash will be held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, a temporary 1/4-mile oval.
On Tuesday, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart turned laps in the Next Gen machine on Tuesday. The test was the first of it’s kind as NASCAR hasn’t run on this small of a track, in while over a decade.
Tony Stewart comments on the Next Gen car
Tony Stewart retired at the end of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season.
“It was fun today to get a chance to come up here, to be invited by NASCAR to come up and do the tire test for the Coliseum race,” Tony Stewart said during the test.
“This is a track I’ve only been to one time and got to watch the races. So it was pretty cool to be on track here. It was fun and to get a chance to drive the Next Gen car was cool too.”
The Next Gen car has wider tires and more stability. That’s opened the door for softer tire compounds in 2022.
“Goodyear had a good plan coming into today, and I think they’re pretty happy with the results that they got. I think what they brought with the control set is probably a little harder than what they need. They brought a softer tire and they were pretty happy with it and I think that’s probably a combination of what they’ll bring out West.”
Tony Stewart retired from the NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the 2016 season. He recently testing a machine at Circuit of the Americas but this is his first run in the Next Gen machine.
“I haven’t been in one for five years. It’s fun to get in and do something different and do something I haven’t been able to do for a long time now.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr talks the NASCAR Next Gen car
Dale Earnhardt Jr hasn’t turned a lap in a NASCAR Cup Series car since the end of the 2017 season. He currently served as a broadcaster for NBC Sports.
“I got the opportunity to come out here today to drive the Next Gen at a track I’ve never been to,. I’ve heard about this place, it’s only 45 minutes from the house but I’ve never been to it. I got to check a lot of boxes today, ” Dale Earnhardt Jr commented.
“It does everything better. The braking performance is going to take a while to get used to. That was probably the one thing that I found myself improving the most, with my lap times. Letting the car get into the corner because these brakes work so much better, I’m overslowing the car getting into the corner the way I’ve always used it in my life.”
“More tire, more grip, it does everything much better. More drive off. You put one of the old cars on this race track, you’d never be able to get the power down. This thing just hunkers and goes.”
The race at the LA Coluseum will open the 2022 NASCAR season and debut the Next Gen machine.
“It’s going to be crazy and it’s going to work. I was a little worried about the size of the track. We’ve never seen our product, recently, on a track that small. Having driven the car, there’s going to be plenty of room. All those worries that I had are for no good reason. So, I’m excited.”
“It’s going to be physical. So, I think that’s what everybody expects. The drivers know that. So, we’re going to give the West coast a taste of some good short track racing.”
Jr concluded, “This Next Gen car, it does everything good on a track like this. I didn’t know if it would work, didn’t know it would match well with this size of race track but it’s going to be a pretty good show.”‘
Clint Bowyer comments
Clint Bowyer is another retired NASCAR Cup Series driver. He currently works for the FOX Sports broadcasting team.
“The car handles phenomenal,” Bowyer stated.
“There’s not much room out there, let me tell you. These guys are gonna be in trouble. There’s gonna be some carnage, gonna be some hurt feelings, gonna happen right off the bat right there in the Coliseum.”