NASCAR conducted a closed test session for its Next Gen car Wednesday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway with Cup Series driver Christopher Bell piloting the car.

Bell powered the red and black prototype Next Gen car around the high-banked half-mile oval for most of the afternoon while NASCAR officials gathered data.

In an effort to reduce costs to the Cup Series teams, NASCAR is introducing the Next Gen car to the sport in 2022 and will feature Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota body styles.  The Next Gen offers improved aero and downforce packages and a spec chassis among its wide range of changes. The car also will be fitted with an independent rear suspension, exhaust on both sides, a rear diffuser, new wheel design, five-speed sequential transmission, carbon bodies and hood ducts, among other enhancements.

The Next Gen car will make its debut at the Daytona 500 in February and is scheduled to make its first Bristol appearance during the 2022 Food City Dirt Race. NASCAR has yet to release its 2022 Cup Series schedule.

Next month the NASCAR Playoffs come to Bristol Motor Speedway during America's Night Race weekend. The tradition-rich event held on the all-concrete oval will feature the ARCA Menards Series Bush's Beans 200 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 Playoff race in a Thursday night doubleheader, Sept. 16; the Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season finale on Friday night, Sept. 17; and the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, a Round of 16 Playoff elimination race, on Saturday night, Sept. 18. Tickets are available by clicking here or by calling the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158.