Picking up right where he left off, 2021 NASCAR Cup Champion Kyle Larson had the fasted lap time on Day 1 of the Nex Gen Test Fest at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, AZ. Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports number 5 Chevrolet Camero topped the speed chart with a 27.329 lap at 131.728 MPH. According to NASCAR data from the Nov 7, 2021 Championship race, Larson’s top speed was 131.184, or .544 faster than yesterday’s Next Gen test. Second fastest on the board at 27.474/131.033 MPH was another car out of the Chevrolet camp, the 8 of Tyler Reddick driving for Richard Childress Racing. Ford fans were pleased to see the 22 car of Team Penske driver Joey Lagano in 3rd 0.171 off the leader with a 27.500 lap at 130.909 MPH. NASCAR officials noted that “times are unofficial, with no technical inspection conducted before each session.”
As discussed today with Dave Moody on his SiriusXM Speedway radio show, seeing, and more importantly hearing, the Next Gen cars on track was really important to the fans who turned out to watch the Day 1 test session. I interviewed a number of fans who conveyed their excitement about the look of cars (yes, including the number placement) and the “throatier” sound of the cars with their 670 horsepower engines at full song. Here is a video clip we captured of Larson and Reddick turning hot laps.
The data was not so good news for Toyota Racing fans as 23XI Racing drivers Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace placed the 23 car 5th on the Speed Chart at 0.234 off the leader with a lap of 27.563 at 130.610 MPH. The next fastest Toyota was Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing 18 car all the way down in 10th, 0.414 off Larson’s speed with a lap of 27.743 at 129.762 MPH.
Testing continues Wednesday January 26 with Day 2 scheduled to run from 9am — 5pm at Phoenix Raceway. Go Full Throttle will have additional coverage from Day 2 on our website at https://gofullthrottle.net/