By Jerry Jordan, Editor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Action Express Racing organization, founded by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France, was up early Monday morning testing their own version of NASCAR’s Generation 7 racecar, Kickin’ the Tires has confirmed.
During a paid track tour, the Action Express hauler was observed parked next to a Goodyear Racing hauler in the Xfinity Series garage. Several crew members were seen walking back and forth to the garage area but then a matte black racecar with red accents drove away and took to the recently revamped road course using the new chicane on the front stretch. The car was believed to be driven by IMSA driver Felipe Nasr, according to multiple sources.
Nasr is a Brazilian-born racecar driver, who co-drives the No. 31 Cadillac Dpi for Action Express Racing with fellow-Brazilian Pipo Derani. He and Eric Curran won the Prototype Championship during Nasr’s first year with Action Express Racing in 2018.
Reached for comment, NASCAR sent a response from Senior Vice President for Innovation and Racing Development, John Probst, confirming the Action Express vehicle test but stated that it was not part of a sanctioned event or affiliated with the NASCAR sanctioning body.
“The Action Express test allows a sports car team to learn about the architecture of the Next Gen car and explore any opportunities to adopt new technologies. The test also benefits NASCAR – it helps us check the durability of parts, helps with tire development and gives us data from a road course test,” the statement from Probst read.
Action Express built the car on its own car and rented the track to conduct the private test, according to multiple sources.
Officially, NASCAR will hold a test of its new Gen 7 car next week after the race at Dover International Speedway. One of the good things that could come from Action Express having its own version of the Gen 7 is that NASCAR can now acquire twice as much data and conduct multicar tests ahead of its rollout of the new racecar scheduled for 2022.
One notable difference between the Action Express Gen 7 car at Daytona and the cars that raced a day before on the road course was the sound of the engine. The engine in the Action Express car was much deeper, or throatier, than the current Cup Series cars.
Photos by Jerry Jordan/Kickin’ the Tires