With the 2023 season in full-swing, the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) has already taken on a variety of race track configurations - ranging from the season-opening high-banked superspeedway of Daytona International Speedway to the short track that crowns the series’ champion of Phoenix Raceway. Drivers and teams of NASCAR’s premier series will make both left- and right-hand turns at the renowned 3.41-mile, 20-turn Circuit of The Americas (COTA) this season; the first road course event of the year.
Just a few weeks prior, the series debuted a new aerodynamic package that will run on the series’ short ovals and road courses this season. Set to tackle a road course circuit for the first time with the new package, the series was given an extended practice session Friday afternoon, giving teams the opportunity to make adjustments before returning to the track for tomorrow’s qualifying session.
Kyle Larson clocked in a best-lap of 132.544 seconds to put the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 team second overall on the final speed chart. Chevrolet drivers took four of the top-five positions at the conclusion of final practice with Larson leading Ross Chastain (No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1) in second, Kyle Busch (No. 8 Netspend Camaro ZL1) in fourth, and Daniel Suarez (No. 99 Freeway Insurance Camaro ZL1) rounding out the top five.
On the horizon of his first career start in NASCAR’s premier series, Jordan Taylor made his first laps behind the wheel of the No. 9 UniFirst Camaro ZL1 in this afternoon’s practice session. The 31-year-old Corvette Racing driver ran in the top-10 for much of the practice session, ultimately ended up 10th fastest overall.
Next on tap for NASCAR’s premier series will be a two-round, multi-vehicle qualifying session to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. The field will be split into two groups, each partaking in a timed session. The top five fastest drivers in each group will transfer to the final round for a shot at the pole position. The Bowtie brand took the pole in the series’ first appearance in 2021 at the Austin, Texas, circuit with Tyler Reddick and the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1. A pole win is one step closer for Chevrolet’s drivers and teams to keep the manufacturer’s win streak alive at the circuit as the Bowtie brand seeks its third consecutive trip to victory lane COTA.
Chevrolet’s drivers and teams will aim for the manufacturer’s third consecutive NCS COTA triumph in Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.