NASCAR Gives Glimpse of Future in Next Gen Cup Series Racing Test

by Jonathan Howard

The world of NASCAR is heading into the future. With the Cup Series Playoffs going on, Next Gen Cup Series cars are being tested. These cars will soon be seen zipping around tracks but will undergo further testing. The Cup Series Playoffs are heading to Richmond Raceway, but eight other teams are packing in the Next Gen cars on the Daytona track.

Before these cars are able to race a full season, or even just one official race, they have to be tested. So, part of that process is racing three-wide coming off turns, and more. Watch these cars of the future come around the track.

One thing is for certain, these cars are LOUD. However, it isn’t just noise. Next-Gen Cup Series cars are coming with a new body style, an independent rear suspension, and larger wheels. All of this comes on a lower profile than current rules allow. One of the drivers testing out the cars, Joey Logano. Team Penske broke out a nondescript, black Ford Mustang with the No. 22 on the side. The number is pushed forward a bit. Fans saw that new design when Kurt Busch announced his move to 23XI.

Of course, Ford, Chevy, and Toyota were all represented at the Daytona pack test. These cars are getting sleeker and more modern. They look badass and these tests will help fine-tune and finish these cars up. Other drivers in Daytona racing the Next Gen cars were Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin. Hamlin is fresh off a win at Darlington Raceway to kick off the Playoffs.

NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Begin

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs have begun and race one is in the books. Darlington Raceway is where things started. The wall at the South Carolina track seems to close in on drivers when they least expect it. This one got into the caution flags early and often. That means a few drivers were left rolling into the garage before the end of the night.

During stage one, Michael McDowell got into a nasty wreck. As the race began to go three-wide on the turns, McDowell slipped, spun, and ended up hitting the wall once or twice. By the time the dust settled, the car was totaled and McDowell was checked to make sure he was unharmed. Everything was fine, but the race was over for McDowell. He finds himself at the bottom of the Playoffs standings with two more races in the round. It will be hard, but not impossible to make his way back into the top-12.

Chase Elliott also found himself in the garage before the final checkered flag. He had brake issues that led to a spin-out. Unfortunately, it was in the final laps of the last stage. So, he didn’t end up getting across the line. He is in the top-12 in the standings currently. The Playoffs head to Richmond Raceway this weekend for the second race in the Round of 16.