With 2022 rapidly approaching, so is the debut of the NASCAR Next Gen car. All through the 2020 season, there were plenty of tests involving the cars. Obviously, the Next Gen car is a huge unknown, especially since it incorporates new technical rules. Therefore, there is a need to test the cars and iron out any potential kinks.
Even in 2021, tests are still ongoing because NASCAR wants this transition to go off without a hitch. The latest test concluded at the Darlington Raceway with Tyler Reddick behind the wheel. Already, several drivers have tested the Next Gen car, with Reddick being the latest one.
What is special about the NASCAR Next Gen test at Darlington?
The Darlington Raceway is a hugely notorious race track. The South Carolina speedway has had several monikers slapped on it. These include “The Lady in Black” and “The Track Too Tough to Tame”. Many dub it as the ‘track too tough to tame,’ because it can be very punishing when a driver makes a mistake.
Even if they manage to pull off perfect laps all throughout a race, one mistake can pitch the car into the wall. According to many seasoned racers, the real worry is not their nearest rival, but the racetrack itself. In fact, many NASCAR drivers consider hitting the wall at Darlington a badge of honor. According to them, any chipped paint will always be fondly dubbed the “Darlington Stripe.”
Many like Rusty Wallace, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson can attest to the difficulty in taming the track. 2-time Darlington winner Johnson said, “I think at the end of the day it’s the fact that track was built to run 80 miles an hour around or 100 miles an hour around. We’re far above that. The track is very narrow and odd shaped so to run the speeds that we do, it’s just a really awkward line and a really awkward track to race at. With all that in mind, it makes it tough and that’s where the name comes from.”
The Darlington track has been present in the NASCAR calendar since 1950 and is almost a permanent fixture. Many consider it as the place where NASCAR at its finest meets true southern hospitality. It is also worth noting that the Darlington Raceway has witnessed many talented drivers reach Victory Lane. Now, the race will be coming up very soon and drivers will be eager to conquer it.
READ MORE: “Still Drives Like Darlington” – Tyler Reddick Experiences NASCAR Next Gen Car for the First Time