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Earnhardt, Stewart, Bowyer to test NASCAR Next Gen car

Three former stars of the NASCAR Cup Series – two of them members of the Hall of Fame – are set to take part in a Next Gen test this coming week.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Unilever United For America

Multiple sources have confirmed to Motorsport.com that Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well as Fox TV analyst Clint Bowyer are expected to take part in a test of the Next Gen car at Bowman-Gray Stadium on Tuesday.

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Bowman-Gray is a 1⁄4-mile asphalt flat oval short track in Winston-Salem, N.C., and NASCAR’s longest-running weekly race track. The legendary track also hosted 29 Cup Series races from 1958 to 1971.

The three drivers will take turns in a NASCAR Next Gen car as the sanctioning body prepares for the car’s first “race” – the 2022 preseason non-points Clash, which will be held Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing

Photo by: Stewart-Haas Racing

The Coliseum’s traditional surface will be replaced by a temporary ¼-mile, asphalt short track. The use of former drivers was done in part so no current drivers would obtain an advantage before the race.

The Clash at the Coliseum will be a signature event as a part of the venue’s centennial celebration and mark the first time NASCAR’s prelude to the annual Daytona 500 will take place somewhere other than Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR recently completed a two-day test of the Next Gen car at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval course.

Upcoming additional tests include a tire test at Wythe Raceway, a ½-mile, high-banked clay track in Rural Retreat, Va. That test will be in preparation for next season’s Cup Series dirt race at Bristol, Tenn.

A two-day test on the Charlotte oval layout is set for Nov. 17-18.

On Tuesday morning, NASCAR confirmed Earnhardt and Bowyer would take part in Tuesday's test and be available for media interviews afterwards. Stewart was also originally scheduled to participate but was not listed on the media advisory.

The test is not open to the public.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Nascar Next Gen

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Nascar Next Gen

Photo by: James Gilbert / Getty Images

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