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NASCAR tests three Next Gen configurations on Charlotte Motor Speedway oval

NASCAR Next Gen testing

CONCORD, N.C. -- To begin its second round of open testing on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval, NASCAR tried three configurations on the Next Gen car that will make its 2022 debut.

A roster of 14 teams worked individually and in groups with each aerodynamic-engine combination during the eight-hour test Wednesday at the 1.5-mile oval. NASCAR officials were working on improving handling in traffic before settling on a final package for next season.

According to, the three packages tested were:

--550-horsepower engine and 7-inch spoiler;

--670-horsepower engine and 6-inch spoiler;

--670-horsepower engine with a 6-inch spoiler shifted to the right.

The three packages also featured a bevy of uniformly implemented aerodynamic tweaks.

NASCAR planned to spend Wednesday night and Thursday evaluating the results of the session before returning for another 8-hour test Friday with a single configuration.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney led the session with a 182.014 mph lap that was nearly a second faster than the best lap (175.718 mph by Kevin Harvick) that was posted in the Nov. 17-18 test at Charlotte. Blaney’s No. 12 Ford also was faster than the top lap (180.935-mph by Austin Dillon) with the 550-horsepower package in the final Gen 6 practice on the track last May.

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain (181.996) was second fastest, followed by Kurt Busch (181.020), Alex Bowman (180.971) and Tyler Reddick (180.917).

SPEED CHART: Click here for lap times Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway

There were a few incidents during the test, which began at 8 a.m.

Shortly after 10 a.m. when the first group run began, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun off Turn 4 without contact after losing the handle while beginning to make a move below Aric Almirola.

The test session was paused for cleanup after Reddick’s No. 8 Chevrolet slid into the sand barrels at the entrance to the pits.

Reddick was evaluated and released from the care center after driving away from the scene. The Richard Childress Racing driver tweeted that his car sustained some steering and body damage, and that his team would miss the final four hours of the test while making repairs for Friday.