NASCAR goes road racing | Kingman Daily Miner

AUSTIN, Texas – Perhaps it’s eventually Chase Elliott’s flip to take a Hendrick Motorsports automotive to victory lane, the place his three teammates have all visited over the past month.

The blazing begin for the Hendrick steady has stretched three wins over 4 races – Kyle Larson received at Fontana, Alex Bowman at Las Vegas and William Byron at Atlanta – and solely Elliott remains to be searching for his first win of the season. He’s obtained a very good shot Sunday in NASCAR’s second journey to the Circuit of the Americas everlasting street course, the place Elliott is the defending race winner.

Elliott’s victory final yr got here in torrential rains that shortened the occasion by 14 laps. It was no shock to see the 2020 Cup Series champion decide up the street course win; he leads all energetic drivers with seven profession victories on street programs.

The problem this yr is knowing NASCAR’s new Next Gen automotive, which debuted in January and has been spectacular in enhancing the racing. The season has opened with 5 totally different winners by 5 races as the complete storage – besides perhaps the Hendrick groups – figures out the brand new automotive. Austin is the primary of six street programs on this yr’s Cup Series schedule.

“I think it’s really more questions than answers,” Elliott stated. “To me, COTA is going to be that first opportunity for all the drivers to really kind of get in tune with this car on a road course. I didn’t think it really drove a ton different than the old cars on the road course.”

When he did get to show laps within the Next Gen on the hybrid street course at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR’s new automotive reminded him of the IMSA GT automobiles Elliott has competed in opposition to when he dabbles in sports activities automotive racing. Elliott, who’s the Cup factors chief regardless of being winless to date this yr, stated the Next Gen ought to make for a very good race.

“It is almost better suited for road racing than – I shouldn’t say better suited – but more normalized for road racing type vehicles than it is for oval racing cars. So, I think it will be fine,” he stated,

Byron, his teammate and winner final Sunday in Atlanta, stated the automotive could also be so suited to a street course that the groups who’re studying the Next Gen quickest may dominate.

“Maybe the car drives so good that the race isn’t as good?” Byron stated. “The races on the ovals are good because the car drives so bad. We used to have all the side-force and the rear end, all the skew, and now you don’t have any of that. I think it will be exciting because you’ll see a lot of commitment from the drivers, but it also might be a spread-out race.”

The 20-turn, 3.41-mile, multi-elevational counterclockwise circuit makes use of the rolling panorama as a part of the course. Last yr’s race in a blinding rain noticed 11 lead modifications by 10 drivers.

Elliott is the race favourite per FanDuel Sportsbook. NASCAR’s cease at COTA is promoted by Speedway Motorsports, which leases the monitor in an effort so as to add quite a lot of racing circuits to the schedule.

AJ Allmendinger, the ringer for first-year Cup workforce Kaulig Racing, returns for his second begin of the season in a Chevrolet that proprietor Matt Kaulig expects to win races.

Allmendinger received on the street course at Indianapolis final summer season and was fifth within the inaugural race at COTA final season.

But with a transparent forecast and heat temperatures slated for Sunday, Allmendinger has no thought what to anticipate.

“Everybody’s so good on the Cup side of it, so I wouldn’t say that this car lends more of an opportunity for myself,” he stated. “I do like how aggressive you could be with it. You can sort of toss the automotive round a bit extra, just a bit bit extra nimble, the steering is faster, the automotive reacts faster.

“It makes it enjoyable to go out there and attack a race car, especially at a place like COTA where there’s so many corners, so many different types of corners that whether it’s high speed or late on the brakes.”

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