Class in session as Day 1 of organizational test wraps at Homestead-Miami

·3 min read
Class in session as Day 1 of organizational test wraps at Homestead-Miami

NASCAR Cup Series teams closed out the first of two days of an organizational test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday with drivers offering their intent to continue learning the Next Gen car.

The Team Penske duo of Austin Cindric and Joey Logano posted the fastest laps in Tuesday’s session, with the rookie Daytona 500 winner Cindric pacing the field at 165.548 mph. But drivers said the prime focus was to gather data, information and a better feel for the seventh-generation stocker ahead of its first event there, the Dixie Vodka 400 on Oct. 23 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM).

RELATED: Buy Homestead tickets | Playoff standings

“Just kind of learning this car at this race track,” said Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, the track’s most recent winner back in February 2021. “Try to get a baseline set-up, I would say, and maybe a couple things apply to Texas, possibly. So just try to keep learning this car and just get a little bit better.”

The organizational test session is scheduled to continue Wednesday, with wheel-force cars from each manufacturer joining the action Wednesday and Thursday. Drivers and teams welcomed the extra track time, a luxury in the streamlined practice and qualifying format introduced this season.

With the opportunity for more laps available, the chance to take more drastic swings at car setups also increased.

“To me it’s less about tuning and getting prepared for when we come back to Homestead, as it is learning overall and trying some things that maybe we haven’t had the opportunity to try,” said Front Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell. “I mean, if you think about practice this year, you get 20 minutes and you go right out for qualifying. You cannot make big changes; they won’t allow you to. So here we’re going to try a few things that we probably haven’t gotten to try throughout the season.”

Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, said during a Tuesday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that no changes in rules configurations were planned during the test days.

“NASCAR doesn’t have a real agenda for the organizational tests,” Miller told SiriusXM. “This is completely whatever the teams want to do working on setups, working on whatever it is that they’re doing to collect data, to better understand the Next Gen to help with setups down the road. So it’s one of their few opportunities to go to a race track, collect all the data that they want and need and experiment, have time to wildly change setups and try to understand different things. So it’s an important test for the teams, but for us, we have a presence down there obviously, but we have no agenda or for anything on the docket for the teams to do. It’s their test.”

Position

Car No.

Name

Make

Team

Best Speed

Laps Run

1

2

Austin Cindric

Ford

Team Penske

165.548

116

2

22

Joey Logano

Ford

Team Penske

165.497

124

3

11

Denny Hamlin

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

165.320

117

4

6

Brad Keselowski

Ford

RFK Racing

165.264

133

5

19

Christopher Bell

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

165.249

157

6

3

Tyler Reddick

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

165.122

143

7

34

Michael McDowell

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

164.916

115

8

7

Corey LaJoie

Chevrolet

Spire Motorsports

164.735

100

9

23

John Hunter Nemechek

Toyota

23XI Racing

164.419

120

10

4

Kevin Harvick

Ford

Stewart-Haas Racing

164.399

178

11

24

William Byron

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

164.149

159

12

47

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Chevrolet

JTG-Daugherty Racing

164.014

102

13

9

Chase Elliott

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

163.979

124

14

31

Justin Haley

Chevrolet

Kaulig Racing

163.800

76

15

14

Chase Briscoe

Ford

Stewart-Haas Racing

163.676

111

16

1

Daniel Suárez

Chevrolet

Trackhouse Racing

163.626

189

17

43

Erik Jones

Chevrolet

Petty GMS

162.921

127

18

21

Harrison Burton

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

162.206

63