William Byron was the fourth driver to test the new NEXT-GEN race car at Auto Club Speedway this past Monday and Tuesday. The new race car will debut for all race teams in 2021.
On the second day of practice Byron had two incidents, one where the car snapped loose coming out of turn four, and another where Byron lost control in turn one and made slight contact with the inside wall. The second wreck ended practice for the day.
Here is a video from the Motor Racing Media of the first incident of the day:
“We were probably six or seven laps into a 25-lap tire run,” Byron said. “I had been a little free for a couple of corners, but nothing major. That time, I just got loose and figured I’d be able to save it but wasn’t able to”.
“This gives us a good opportunity to make sure the car holds up as expected during an incident. We’ll review everything available to us and move forward.” NASCAR said in a statement.
Several drivers who have tested the car prior to William Byron said the car is much harder to handle then the current race car.
Austin Dillon previously said “You are always on edge with this car”. Erik Jones said “The car doesn’t catch itself due to its reduced sideforce”. Finally, Joey Logano said you have to “wrestle’ it around a corner”.
The next Next Gen test will happen in two weeks following the Atlanta Motor Speedway race. Richard Childress Racing has built the first couple of Next Gen cars, and will have this fourth car repaired before Atlanta.