2018 Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon test drives NASCAR’S Next Gen car at Richmond track

Photo for Headline Surfer / Austin Dillon is shown with one of NASCAR'S Next Gen cars at Richmond Raceway. YouTube download / NASCAR video / Dillon celebrates after winning the 2018 Daytona 500.  

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Following more than two years of development from concept to reality, 2018 Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon wheeled NASCAR’s Next Gen car for the first time in a two-day test at Richmond Raceway.

The much-anticipated car, which is slated to debut at the 2021 Daytona 500, will honor stock car racing’s roots with bodies that resemble their street versions while incorporating new vehicle technology and innovation.

"This is an important milestone for the Next Gen car and the future of stock car racing," said John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development.

"There are so many new systems on the car from the front to the back that our main goal with this test was to log laps and put miles on them," Probst said, adding, "The test has met – and even exceeded – our expectations, and we are well on our way to developing the final iteration of the car."

Austin Dillon was behind the wheel of the car, which was assembled by Richard Childress Racing in collaboration with NASCAR.

"I really enjoyed driving the car," Dillon said. "I like the way that it looks, you can see the finished product down the road. The OEMs can make the body look really good, like a street car that you see on the road today. When it comes together and they all get their cars on the track, we’re going to have something to work with that also looks really good."

NASCAR'S Next Gen car / Headline SurferAustin Dillon was behind the wheel of the car, which was assembled by Richard Childress Racing in collaboration with NASCAR. 

"I really enjoyed driving the car," Dillon said. "I like the way that it looks, you can see the finished product down the road. The OEMs can make the body look really good, like a street car that you see on the road today. When it comes together and they all get their cars on the track, we’re going to have something to work with that also looks really good."

The car is one of two prototypes currently built.  The other was assembled by NASCAR and was tested in the wind tunnel for the first time on Oct. 1. That car is scheduled to make its second trip to the wind tunnel later this week. Another on-track test is anticipated before the year concludes.

"We have a very comprehensive test plan," Probst said. "We will be doing extensive wind tunnel testing to ensure liftoff speeds are appropriate before moving to larger tracks. As we move into 2020, we will begin testing on intermediate tracks, super speedways and road courses."

While many components on the current versions of the car will remain, some major elements – including each OEMs body design – are still in development.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.