Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Aric Almirola Running Goodyear Tire Test at Pocono




TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – APRIL 23: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23, 2022 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) | Getty Images

NASCAR’s Next Gen Cup Series car is set to record its first laps at The Tricky Triangle during Goodyear Tire test.

  • Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota): A two-time Cup Series champion, Busch has four career Cup wins at Pocono, including one in last year’s doubleheader. He had a banner ’21 weekend as he also finished runner-up in the other race. Busch also owns four poles and 11 top-five finishes in 34 career starts in Pocono.
  • Daniel Suarez (Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet): Three top-10 finishes in 10 Pocono starts, including a best of second in the 2018 July race when he won the pole position. In last year’s doubleheader, he finished 13th in the opener and 15th in the final.
  • Aric Almirola (Stewart-Haas Racing Ford): Four top-10 finishes in 19 starts, highlighted by a best of third in the opener of the 2020 doubleheader. He also earned a fifth-place finish in the second race that season to account for his two career top-five performances at Pocono. Last season, he finished 16th in both races.

STORYLINES:

  • Busch, Suarez and Almirola will run the first lap on Pocono Raceway in the Cup Series’ Next Gen car, which debuted at the outset of this season. The Next Gen replaced the Gen 6 version that competed from 2013-2021. The two-day Goodyear Tire test that begins Tuesday uses a driver from each car manufacturer (Busch-Toyota, Suarez-Chevrolet, Almirola-Ford).
  • The Next Gen car has given the manufacturers greater latitude to incorporate features into the race car body that better replicate the look and feel of the street car (Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Toyota Camry). A sleek new design has lowered the greenhouse, shortened the deck lid and widened the track width of the car giving it more of a coupe look. The body is fully symmetrical which will reduce aerodynamic forces and put an emphasis back on race car setup and driver control. The new composite material is more durable and will allow more contact without loss of performance. New 18-inch forged aluminum wheels and wider Goodyear tires better replicate what is found on passenger cars and will allow for softer tire compounds.
  • From a component perspective, the Next Gen car has upgraded specs to match modern passenger vehicle technology including independent rear suspension, rack and pinion steering and larger brakes. A new transaxle combines the transmission and rear gears into one package with an eye on the future – the ability to incorporate electrification. The bottom of the car is sealed with an underwing and rear diffuser which will help with handling in traffic and reduce “dirty air.” Hood louvers will allow teams to maximize engine performance independent of aerodynamics. A redesigned chassis features new front and rear bumpers for increased safety. Both the front and rear clips bolt on to the center section for easier serviceability and damage repair.
  • Heading into Sunday’s Dover race, Busch is fourth in the Cup standings with a win in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway. That victory was his 60th in Cup, the most among active drivers. He also has seven top-10 finishes in the first 10 races. Almirola is 10th in the standings with four top-10 finishes, including a season-best of fifth in the Daytona 500. Suarez is 19th in the standings with three top-10 finishes, including a season-best of fourth at both Atlanta and Auto Club Speedway.

—Pocono Raceway—

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