The Gen-6 car has been faster at each place it's been tested. What remains to be seen is how it'll perform with a full field ripping through the corners and jostling for the top.
"This thing's quite a bit different than what we're used to," Truex said. "There's going to a lot of things to learn for the teams and for the drivers so we're glad to get out there and get some laps."
Goodyear expects to use the information from this test to formulate the type of tire they'll bring back here in May. If history is any guide, the tire company should bring plenty of rubber. Darlington is known for its abrasive, tire-chewing surface that has shown itself more and more since a 2008 repavement.
"It's a two-lane highway with a speed limit of 190 mph," joked Brett Bodine, the former racer who works as NASCAR's competition director for research and development.
Edwards was happy for the lap time and has been pleased with the Gen-6 car's performance so far. He expects a lot of thrills when the season kicks off with the Daytona 500 later this month.
"It seems like NASCAR is putting as much effort as humanly possible in making the cars perform as we all want them to on the race track," Edwards said.
He is planning for additional chances when engineers from the teams and NASCAR see what the car does in competition. In the end, Edwards is confident any adjustments will improve things on the track, even one as difficult as Darlington.
"For me, this test is one I really looked forward to," he said. "I get to work with a new car, a new team, new tires at a track I love. The weather's nice. This is a great way to spend a Tuesday."