NASCAR’s Next Generation Cup Series car has competed on superspeedways, short tracks, intermediate tracks, a relatively flat 1-mile track and even a dirt track. It has not, however, been raced on a high-banked 1-mile oval or on any kind of concrete track, but all that changes this weekend as NASCAR’s premier division moves to Dover aka the “Monster Mile.”
Aside from not delivering the kind of quality racing that many drivers and fans hoped it would on the short tracks, the Next Gen car has received a passing grade this season for helping generate more passing opportunities, leveling the overall playing field among the sport’s bigger and smaller teams, and producing an overall better racing product. So what can we expect at Dover, given that this car has yet to turn laps on a track that bears hardly any notable similarities? Stay tuned and buckle your seatbelt. As much as any race so far this season, Sunday’s showdown is laced in mystery.
“Every week is a new week,” said Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, a winner of two races in 2022. “It really is. We look at our old notes for balance and things like that, but even that’s kind of changed. I think Dover’s going to be eye opening to see how this car gets around Dover, because you know it has way less downforce. Downforce is key at Dover. I’m very interested to see how that feels and how that plays out, because I don’t know what to expect.” Neither does anyone else.