Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Electronic Media
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Goodyear specialists and NASCAR officials collected details and data Tuesday that will help decide the tire collection for up coming season’s Clash at the Coliseum. Carrying out that came at the intersection of the Up coming Gen car or truck of NASCAR’s long term with a venerable track from the Cup Series’ earlier.
The 2022 motor vehicle turned laps Tuesday at historic Bowman Gray Stadium in an unofficial preliminary to the Feb. 6 exhibition race in Los Angeles. Goodyear and NASCAR invited a few not too long ago retired stars with their have aged-college cred for the driving obligations — Hall of Famer Tony Stewart for the tire tests in the morning session, and racers turned broadcasters Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer for very hot laps in the afternoon.
Similar: Up coming Gen timeline | Images from Bowman Grey
For all three drivers, it marked their initially stints driving the wheel of the up coming Cup Sequence automobile, and the critiques had been generally constructive, with Earnhardt declaring, “The auto does anything better than something I’ve at any time drove in NASCAR.”
“This automobile does all the things that I was anxious about, it does them all and it does them effectively,” he reported. “I think this automobile is a fantastic match for this observe or any track whereas the vehicle that we have now does not perform just about everywhere and is hard in spots like this. So I’m marketed now. I was skeptical, but I imagine it’s likely to operate truly properly. The auto gets all over the corner. I considered the keep track of would be too smaller for our automobiles and they just wouldn’t take care of and drive perfectly, but this is a totally diverse beast.”
Bowyer, who will be aspect of FOX Sports’ broadcasting crew for the Clash exhibition, claimed he was also swayed by the car’s responsiveness as he swiftly obtained up to speed, sorting through the car’s new sequential shifter and modifying to his seat and wheel positioning. He made laps below the watchful eye of longtime crew main analyst Larry McReynolds, his broadcasting colleague.
“Very amazed with the grip level, the braking electrical power, the tire that Goodyear selected for this,” Bowyer mentioned. “I’m glad all over again that I bought to come out listed here to Bowman Grey. I live in Winston, men. I have been listed here a ton in the grandstands, up there in that beer back garden far more than any seat, but I wanted to arrive out here and turn some laps.”
Stewart had been to the stadium after in advance of, attending the 2009 opener by tagging alongside with Bobby Hutchens — a longtime Modified driver who was then Stewart-Haas Racing’s levels of competition director. Stewart’s appearance back then created a excitement in the Bowman Gray garage, fueling speculation that he may 1 working day compete there. “Oh, yeah. I like operating almost everywhere, spots I’ve hardly ever been to,” Stewart explained to the Winston-Salem Journal then.
Stewart lent a hand to Hutchens’ crew that night time, but Tuesday got his prospect at the rear of the wheel at the stadium. Goodyear officials examined two distinctive tires at Bowman Gray — one that was formerly experimented with at Martinsville Speedway in March, and a different tire with a softer compound.
“Goodyear experienced a excellent prepare coming into these days, and I assume they’re quite delighted with the success that they obtained,” said Stewart, who spun a pair of occasions in the track’s north flip without the need of hurt as he hustled the auto all-around. “I believe what they brought with the handle set is possibly a very little more difficult than what they will need. They brought a softer tire, and they were pretty joyful with it, and I consider that’s likely a combination of what they’ll convey out West.”
The Clash is scheduled to be held exterior of Daytona International Speedway for the 1st time up coming 12 months, taking place on a related quarter-mile track to be constructed inside of the L.A. Coliseum. The layout has nevertheless to be manufactured remaining, with competitors officials noting that proposed versions range from a most of 5 levels of banking to a flat, no-banking configuration.
Much more: All about the Clash at the Coliseum
The L.A. Coliseum offers a remarkable history as a two-time Summer time Olympics venue and the host to several qualified and collegiate sporting activities, but Bowman Grey holds its have in the realm of inventory-vehicle racing lore. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. partnered with Alvin Hawkins to endorse weekly racing there setting up in 1949, and NASCAR Corridor of Famer Tim Flock was its initial keep track of champion.
The NASCAR Cup Sequence ran 29 races there from 1958-1971, a span that provided Richard Petty’s 100th gain in 1969. But even when the Cup Collection departed as the agenda was shortened and more recent, bigger venues were being sought out, weekly racing ongoing. Bowman Gray held its 1,000th NASCAR-sanctioned race meet in 2015, and it stays a southern outpost for the Modified automobiles that are most well-liked on tracks in the northeast.
Bowman Gray Stadium finished its 72nd time of inventory-auto racing in August. City bonds have been allocated for improving upon the facility, and the Winston-Salem newspaper described that the asphalt will be dismantled and replaced, setting up following thirty day period. Close by Winston-Salem Condition College wrapped up its house football agenda on the Bowman Grey turf final weekend. The area was nevertheless marked with yard strains and painted stop zones for Tuesday’s examination.
Tuesday, the appears of the gridiron ended up replaced with the rumble of a entire-bodied Cup Series automobile at Bowman Grey, and Earnhardt was beaming soon after wheeling it through the restricted confines.
“They’ve acquired a good matter going on, so it’s pleasurable to be in a position to occur in this article,” Earnhardt claimed. “It’s really interesting to be ready to get some laps. It’s a very scary place. The guardrail, you’re racing all around there, and that guardrail’s just chewed up, and it’s just daring you to hit it. It’s truly overwhelming. That, in alone, was a excellent knowledge for me, no make any difference what car or truck I was driving now. It was awesome to appear in this article and working experience this position at the rear of the wheel.”