Larson, who clinched the 2021 Cup Collection title with victory within the 2021 season finale at Phoenix, led the best way in common lap pace (131.728 mph) on the primary day of a scheduled two-day take a look at on the observe on Tuesday.
The Subsequent Gen automotive is a wholesale change from NASCAR automobiles of years previous, however Larson discovered his first day testing not completely misplaced forward of its first race, the non-championship Conflict occasion on the LA Coliseum on 6 February.
“So far as me driving the automotive, I used to be stunned it didn’t appear that a lot totally different right here than the earlier automotive,” Larson defined.
“The steering was possibly a bit bit faster, simply the little issues all appeared to occur a bit faster. The moments if you bought unfastened – stuff like that.
“Aside from that, it felt pretty regular which I used to be glad about. My stability didn’t appear to vary as a lot – I didn’t appear to get as tight within the centre [of the corner], which is sweet.
“We have to work on our brakes. The brake pedal continued to journey additional and additional because the runs went on. That wasn’t a comforting feeling, however we’re going to strive some stuff tomorrow to make it higher.”
Speeds within the Phoenix take a look at have been down barely from final 12 months’s championship race because the Subsequent Gen automotive is utilising a 670-horsepower bundle in any respect tracks except for superspeedways and the newly reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Final 12 months’s bundle at Phoenix consisted of 750-horsepower, with Brad Keselowski main the ultimate Cup Collection apply at 135.384 mph.
NASCAR groups have been getting last take a look at runs in at Phoenix earlier than racing begins subsequent month
Picture by: Jim Utter
This week’s take a look at at Phoenix is being directed by every crew’s agenda. Having settled on a racing bundle for the 2022 season, NASCAR has been extra of a spectator.
Larson mentioned his #5 Hendrick Motorsports crew has been taking full benefit of the chance to strive new issues.
“We’re simply making an attempt to be taught as a lot as we will, even when it’s fallacious adjustments; adjustments that you realize received’t be in the proper route,” he mentioned.
“You’re making them to attempt to be taught going ahead.
“I used to be pleased with how immediately went. It thought it was a clean day and I believed we did an excellent job with the adjustments that we made and realized plenty of stuff. I sit up for getting the collection began.”
With Phoenix being the final scheduled take a look at of the Subsequent Gen automotive within the offseason, Larson mentioned his Hendrick crew was “able to race” and assured of being aggressive from the off.
He added that his intensive background in all kinds of racing – together with dust observe racing on brief ovals – has led him to be far more versatile with regards to adjustments.
“I really feel like I alter rapidly to new automobiles and new conditions,” he mentioned.
“Simply from my expertise in all types of automobiles, I don’t know that I’ve any ‘habits,’ dangerous or in any other case. I’m making an attempt to be taught new issues each week.”