NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2016 Testing News

Covers and reports on known/reported Team Testing and Organized NASCAR Testing

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  • Planned NASCAR testing for the 2016 season:
    March 3, Las Vegas (All teams entered in the race will be eligible to participate)
    July 12-13, Indianapolis
    July 26-27, Watkins Glen
    Aug. 23-24, Chicago
    Oct. 18-19, Homestead

Testing News

  • Testing at Homestead UPDATE: NASCAR's biggest stars from the Sprint Cup Series are headed to Homestead-Miami Speedway for team testing sessions. The tests are set for Tuesday, October 18 and Wednesday, November 19 from 9:00am-5:00pm on both days, weather permitting. Testing will take place on the Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, where one car from each of the major NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are slated to participate. Drivers will use the testing sessions in order to gather valuable racing data in preparation for the Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race on Sunday, November 20. The testing will be open to the public from 9:00am-5:00pm where fans can watch from the infield Pit Road Cabanas, grandstands and the Speedway Club located on the fourth floor. Fans attending may park their vehicles in the parking lot located on S.W. 336th Street and S.W. 137th Avenue. Entry to the facility is through Gate 4 where a tram will be available to take fans to the infield. Concessions will be made available to fans at the infield Pit Road Cabanas. Drivers scheduled to participate include: #2-Brad Keselowski, #34-Chris Buescher, #21-Ryan Blaney, #6-Trevor Bayne, #42-Kyle Larson, #24-Chase Elliott, #3-Austin Dillon, #41-Kurt Busch, #95-Michael McDowell, #99-Carl Edwards, and #23-David Ragan.(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(10-18-2016)
    UPDATE: With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 set for November 20, drivers in NASCAR's top series made their way to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday to participate in the first of two scheduled team testing sessions. They are slated to conclude testing Wednesday from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. In Tuesday's session, teams and their drivers took advantage of a full day's worth of testing to prepare for November's championship race. The 11 teams who took part in the tests had the opportunity to gain valuable racing data while experimenting on the Speedway's 1.5-mile oval. NASCAR testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway will resume tomorrow, October 19, and will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. where fans can watch from the infield Pit Road Cabanas, grandstands and the Speedway Club located on the fourth floor. Fans attending may park their vehicles in the parking lot located on S.W. 336th Street and S.W. 137th Avenue. Entry to the facility is through Gate 4 where a tram will be available to take fans to the infield. Concessions will be made available to fans at the Pit Road Cabanas. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that participated in the testing session today (Tuesday) included:
    #2-Brad Keselowski, #34-Chris Buescher, #21-Ryan Blaney, #6-Trevor Bayne, #42-Kyle Larson, #24-Chase Elliott, #3-Austin Dillon, #41-Kurt Busch, #95-Michael McDowell, #19-Carl Edwards and #23-David Ragan.
    Tickets to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, in addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 championship race Saturday, November 19, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race Friday, November 18, are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting

  • Furniture Row Racing skipping Homestead test: A notable championship contender - possibly the early favorite - will be absent from next week's test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, whose Nov. 20 season finale will decide the Sprint Cup title. Furniture Row Racing won't bring Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Toyota to the Oct. 18-19 session at the 1.5-mile oval. A team spokesman said the test was removed from the team's schedule last week and didn't know the reason. Homestead-Miami Speedway will play host to the last of several "organizational tests" scheduled by NASCAR during the season. In an organizational test, which isn't mandatory, only one car per organization is permitted to participate. As a single-car team, Furniture Row Racing wouldn't have been in the predicament of having to choose who would test among multiple contenders, which is the case with Joe Gibbs Racing and its four Chase-eligible drivers. Every other remaining championship contender will be represented at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week: Team Penske (#2-Brad Keselowski), Hendrick Motorsports (#24-Chase Elliott), Stewart-Haas Racing (#41-Kurt Busch), Joe Gibbs Racing (#19-Carl Edwards), Richard Childress Racing (#3-Austin Dillon).(NBC Sports)(10-13-2016)

  • Testing at Homestead-Miami Oct. 18 & 19: In preparation for Homestead-Miami Speedway's Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, November 20, some of NASCAR's biggest stars in the Sprint Cup Series will be taking the track for a NASCAR test session. The testing will take place Tuesday, October 18 and Wednesday, October 19 on the Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, where one car from each of the major NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams is slated to participate. Testing sessions will run from 9am to 5pm on both days, weather permitting. Fans who would like to witness this preview of the Ford EcoBoost 400, the crowning race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, are invited to watch the two-day testing at the track. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the cars from the infield Pit Road Cabanas or enjoy a panoramic view of the track from the grandstands on the fourth floor Speedway Club. Fans attending may park their vehicles in the parking lot on S.W. 336th Street and S.W. 137th Avenue. Entry to the facility is through Gate 4 where a tram will take fans to the infield. The tram will be available from 9am to 5pm on both days. Tickets to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, in addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 championship race Saturday, November 19, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race Friday, November 18, are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting

  • Testing at Chicago August 23rd UPDATE: Chicagoland Speedway will host a NASCAR organizational test with several of the sport's top teams on Tuesday, August 23, and fans are invited to take part in this preview to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway September 15-18. The drivers who are tentatively scheduled to participate in the organizational test are as follows: #4-Kevin Harvick, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #18-Kyle Busch, #21-Ryan Blaney, #22-Joey Logano, #23-David Ragan, #31-Ryan Newman, #34-Chris Buescher, #44-Bryan Scott, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #78-Martin Truex Jr. and #95-Michael McDowell (All drivers scheduled to attend are subject to change at the discretion of NASCAR and its teams).
    With proof of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 ticket purchase, fans can watch their favorite drivers participate in the organizational test free of charge from between 1 and 4 pm. Fans are required to bring their printed tickets as proof of purchase. Those who plan on attending the test can enter the facility through Gate 1 off West Schweitzer Road. Once inside the facility, fans will be directed to park along the Midway directly in front of the main box office. The box office will be open to accommodate fans looking to purchase tickets prior to the start of the organizational test. Attendees will then use the elevators to access the third floor where they will now be able to walk outside and sit within a reserved section of grandstand seats. This exclusive opportunity will be open for those wishing to take in all the sights and sounds of stock car racing. In accordance with usual rules and regulation, fans are welcome to bring soft coolers containing refreshments and snacks for the event.
    Lastly, a Chicagoland Speedway staff member will be available to escort a small group of fans every 10 minutes down near the front of the grandstands for a photo opportunity. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Sept. 15-18, will begin on Thursday, Sept. 15 with the ARCA Racing Series followed by American Ethanol E15 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series under the lights on Friday night. On Saturday, Sept. 17, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will hit the track as the precursor to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series showdown, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(Chicagoland Speedway)(8-17-2016)
    UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup teams spent Tuesday testing at Chicagoland Speedway, which will host the first race in the post-season Chase on Sept. 18. The test was originally slated to run two days but was cut down to one full day due to rain in the forecast for Wednesday. Throughout 12 hours of on-track testing, 14 drivers combined to complete 2,046 laps around the 1.5-mile oval with #4-Kevin Harvick running the most, 222. Harvick, who won the first two races at Chicagoland in 2001 and 2002, was the fastest with a lap of 185.268 mph coming on his third lap. #18-Kyle Busch was second-quick (184.628 mph) after running 214 laps with #21-Ryan Blaney (183.524 mph), #31-Ryan Newman (182.859 mph) and #7-Regan Smith (182.809 mph) rounding out the top five. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was on hand for the test, but Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne drove his #17 Ford. On Wednesday, Stenhouse will travel to Indiana to attend the Celebration of Bryan Clauson's Life at Kokomo Speedway. "This was supposed to be a two-day test and they weren't going to let me test one day, and then Trevor Wednesday," Stenhouse said. "I was already in Chicago, so I just came to hang out with the guys."(Motor Racing Network)(8-24-2046)

  • Teams complete Watkins Glen test: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams wrapped up a two-day organizational test Wednesday at newly repaved Watkins Glen International, emerging with better ideas of the challenges they'll face when the series returns for the Aug. 4-7 race weekend. Among those challenges: reworked curbing, a fast circuit and a harder-compound tire that has made grip elusive. A total of 16 Sprint Cup teams -- one permitted from each organization -- tried to unlock the novelty of the $12 million resurfacing project, using a Goodyear tire that emphasizes durability at the expense of traction and wear. The rubber compound chosen is similar to that used July 9 at Kentucky Speedway, site of the Sprint Cup Series' most recent race on a repaved track. The Goodyear tire compound designated for both the Watkins Glen test and the race weekend is the same used for right-side tires in XFINITY Series competition at Iowa Speedway. Those Iowa right-sides will be used at all four corners for the Sprint Cup event at the 2.45-mile road course. In addition to the surface itself, the track features new concrete for the rumble strips that border the circuit's turns and run-off areas. Some drivers found the differences barely noticeable, but Kurt Busch discovered a distinction the hard way with an early Tuesday spin as he bounded over the apex points in the backstretch chicane on one of his initial laps.
    Some notes: #13-Casey Mears turned the fastest lap in the two-day test, which was divided into four sessions of four hours apiece. Mears pushed the Germain Racing #13 Chevrolet in the closing session to a best lap of 126.7 mph, a good bit slower than the track qualifying record of 129.491 mph set by Marcos Ambrose in August 2014. Brad Keselowski returned to the track Wednesday, one day after his severe, nearly head-on crash in Turn 1. He turned 74 laps over both sessions in a reserve Team Penske #2 Ford. Two teams -- Furniture Row Racing (driver #78-Martin Truex Jr.) and Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (driver #95-Michael McDowell) -- were absent from testing's opening day, arriving in the Watkins Glen garage Wednesday in time for the two closing sessions. Wednesday's final session was extended 30 minutes to a 5:30pm/et close because of a nearly hour-long clean-up for fluid on the track. After Chase Elliott's #24 Chevrolet suffered a broken axle, Clint Bowyer's #15 Chevy ran over the part, damaging the car's transmission.(

  • Keselowski ok after hard wreck in testing at Watkins Glen: #2-Brad Keselowski escaped uninjured -- "still upright," in his words -- after a scary crash Tuesday during an organizational test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at Watkins Glen International. Keselowski had just turned a session-topping 124.572 mph on his 18th lap of the day, best of the 14 drivers participating on the freshly repaved 2.45-mile road course. But just after registering that speed, the rear brakes on his Team Penske No. 2 Ford failed, sending Keselowski's car nose-first into the tire-pack barrier in Turn 1 at the end of the long frontstretch. "Just the pedal went to the floor," Keselowski said. "It means that you've lost brakes on one of the corners. At a track like this, you're already on the edge. You don't have any room or margin for something to fail. That's the way it is." The wreck occurred midway through Tuesday's afternoon session on the first day of a two-day organizational test before the series' Aug. 7 Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. Keselowski was evaluated and released from the infield care center, no worse for wear, but crew chief Paul Wolfe still lamented the circumstances. He tweeted video of the heavy crash and a photo of his bent steering wheel on social media to illustrate the wreck's severity. Team Penske unloaded a reserve #2 Ford -- a car that's been a backup at several events this season -- which it planned to put on the track Wednesday.(

  • Teams testing at Watkins Glen: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will receive extra track time this week at newly repaved Watkins Glen International, site of the final road-course race on this year's schedule. A total of 16 teams are scheduled to converge on the New York circuit for a two-day organizational test Tuesday and Wednesday in advance of the Aug. 7 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. The $12 million offseason repaving project marks the first full resurfacing at the facility since 1989. The new asphalt includes the 2.45-mile layout used in NASCAR competition and the longer 3.4-mile configuration used by other series. Drivers scheduled to participate this week: #47-Allmendinger, #21-Blaney, #15-Bowyer, #34-Buescher, #41-Busch, #18-Busch, #83-DiBenedetto, #3-Dillon, #24-Elliott, #2-Keselowski, #95-McDowell, #1-McMurray, #13-Mears, #44-Scott, #17-Stenhouse Jr., and #78-Truex Jr. The on-track schedule will feature two sessions each day -- 9:00am-12:00pm/et and 1:00-5:00pm/et. NASCAR XFINITY Series teams will get extra practice time on the new surface during an expanded race weekend. The schedule was extended from three days to four this year with the addition of two XFINITY practice sessions on Thursday, Aug. 4.(

  • Testing at Indy July 12-13 UPDATES: Preparations for NASCAR's Brickyard 400 will begin in earnest next week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with at least a dozen car-and-driver Sprint Cup Series combinations scheduled to test Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-5pm/et. The test follows this weekend's race at Kentucky Speedway. Next week, the series will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before arriving for the 23rd Brickyard 400. Drivers scheduled to test: #4-Harvick, #6-Bayne, #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #21-Blaney, #22-Logano, #27-Menard, #34-Buescher, #42-Larson, #44-Scott, #48-Johnson and #78-Truex, Jr.(Indianapolis Star)
    AND Fans are encouraged to take advantage of this free opportunity to see some of the biggest stars in racing up close and personal. Testing on the 2.5-mile oval is taking place in advance of the Crown Royal presents the Wounded Warrior Coalition 400 at the Brickyard. The public may watch the test for free from the south terrace grandstands and Turn 2 viewing mounds, and the newly refurbished B Penthouse grandstands will also be open for viewing. Fans in attendance should also be on the lookout for special surprises from the IMS Field Marketing Team.(IMS)(7-7-2016)
    UPDATE: A dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers began the first day of a two-day test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday in preparation for the Brickyard 400 on July 24. After turning the first few laps on Tuesday morning, Kenseth was optimistic based on what he initially felt inside his #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. "I was just out there running by myself, but it seems OK," said Kenseth. "It's pretty much what you'd expect. There was a lot of fall off (with the tires) with not a lot of cars on the track. So when you have fall off like that, new tires mean a lot, and I think that's always good for the racing." Menard, driver of the #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, agreed with Kenseth. "I always enjoy racing at Indianapolis, but the rules package we had last year could have definitely been better," Menard said. "It was little bit of a shot in the dark. It had low reviews with the drivers. I think internal cockpit temperatures we at least 10-15 degrees hotter, so we were getting cooked and the cars were totally unstable in traffic."(Fox Sports)
    AND's Kenny Bruce tweeted Tuesday afternoon that "Larson, Truex, Harvick, Johnson your leaders, unofficially, during afternoon session as Day 1 of organizational test ends"(7-12-2016)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams wrapped up a second day of testing here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday in preparation for next week's Crown Royal Presents The Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard. Wednesday's session, originally scheduled to last until 5:00pm, was shortened by one hour due to the threat of inclement weather. Teams worked through the lunch hour to adjust and get through their individual checklists. "I wish more tests were like this where you come the week before," said Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. "A lot of times you test at a track three months before the race and the climate's different, the track is not the same as when you test, and you forget a lot of stuff you learn technique-wise as a driver before you come back. To be this close to the race, I wish more were like that." Jimmie Johnson's #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was fastest, unofficially, during Tuesday morning's session, and had the top overall speed at the close of Wednesday as well. Larson, fastest in Tuesday's afternoon run, was second after Wednesday's combined effort. Series points leader Kevin Harvick had the third fastest unofficial lap in his #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet Wednesday, followed by #78-Martin Truex Jr.(

  • Goodyear test at Michigan includes possible 2017 changes: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams saw their time cut short this past week during a tire test at Michigan International Speedway, but Goodyear officials said the on-track time was sufficient for the tire supplier's needs. Additionally, NASCAR officials were on hand for the May 17 session to examine the impact of recently announced rule changes for 2016 and potential aerodynamic adjustments for the 2017 season. Rain around the 2-mile track delayed the start of the test, and returned later, forcing officials to end the session just after 2 p.m. "We were able to run through our stuff pretty quickly and got some long runs in," Greg Stucker, Director of Race Tire Sales for Goodyear, said Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It was a confirmation test; we weren't going through a lot of different combinations or anything. We just confirmed that what we had taken was the right combination. Everyone was very comfortable with it. There was plenty of grip; it was cool, but we knew that going in. No surprises. We were real comfortable with everything."(

  • Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Michigan UPDATE: Goodyear will conduct a tire test at Michigan International Speedway on May 17 in preparation for the 2016 season. And fans are invited to come watch all the action. The following NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are scheduled to test: #78-Truex, Jr (Toyota), #3-Austin Dillon (Chevy), #42-Kyle Larson (Chevy), #43-Aric Almirola (Ford) The test is the next step in making the racing better everywhere. Goodyear will use this test to confirm it is providing the proper tire compound to ensure the best racing at Michigan International Speedway. Engineers and drivers from each NASCAR manufacturer will be here to test options for the new low-downforce package. Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9:00am-4:00pm for fans to watch the test free of charge. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstand through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. Portable restrooms will be available. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand policies for race weekend.(MIS)(5-17-2016)
    UPDATE: Goodyear's confirmation tire test at Michigan International Speedway was cut short on Tuesday due to rain. With showers in the morning, teams got a late start on the exercise running just 50 to 60 laps before the session was called just after 2:00pm/et. Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Larson, and Aric Almirola took part in the test using the Las Vegas tire which will return with the teams for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 12.(Motorsport)(5-18-2016)

  • Teams to test at Vegas UPDATE: The official start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may be more than one month away, however four teams will be back on the track next week to take part in a two-day Goodyear tire test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. #48-Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports), #41-Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas Racing), #2-Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) and #20-Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing) are currently scheduled to participate in the test, set for Jan. 12-13 at the 1.5-mile track. All four drivers are former series champions. It will be the first on-track activity for teams since an end-of-year test held last month at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR re-tooled its testing platform before the start of the 2015 season, doing away with private team testing and debuting the NASCAR Series Master Unified Testing Schedule. The schedule included a mix of two-day Goodyear tire tests often followed by a single-day open team test. When necessary, NASCAR officials also scheduled additional practice time as teams worked through the '15 rules package. The changes to the testing policy were made in part to help teams control costs.
    A new base rules package, similar to that used at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway in 2015, will be in place this season for events except those held at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. The base package includes a 3.5-inch spoiler (decreased from 6 inches), a .25-inch leading edge (previously 2 inches) on the front splitter and a 33-inch wide splitter extension panel (radiator pan) replacing the current 38-inch pan. Rear gear ratios will be adjusted to maintain 9,000 rpm maximum engine speed and a 1:38 third gear ratio will be in place for tracks under 1.25 miles. The digital dash display will also be mandatory in the series this season.
    Because next week's test is a Goodyear tire test only, the grandstands will not be open to the public.(
    UPDATE: For a quartet of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, the best part of this week's Goodyear tire test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was simply being back behind the wheel. Sprint Cup Series drivers Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth were in good spirits while speaking to a group of media during a break in testing tires at the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Wednesday. "I was in full offseason mode, and then after that first run yesterday, there's no other way to get that smile," Johnson said. "It's fun to get on the track, knock the rust off and get ready for the season. It's a nice way to remember how cool my job is and have some fun." Busch was happy to be back in his hometown and enjoys testing at LVMS. "Most importantly, it's the weather," the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion said of the benefits of testing in Las Vegas. "It's a track we race only once a year, so the notes don't get as defined, and we always love to go to tracks we have minimal data from." All of the Sprint Cup Series teams will have a full day of open testing on Thursday, March 3, to kick off LVMS' 2016 NASCAR Weekend. The big racing weekend continues on Friday, March 4, with Stratosphere Pole Day, the Boyd Gaming 300 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, March 5, and the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 6.(LVMS)(1-14-2016)

  • 2016 test schedule set: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are currently scheduled for five open team tests this season, according to the 2016 Unified Testing Master Schedule. Four of the tests will be two-day affairs and will take place at Indianapolis (July 12-13), Watkins Glen (July 26-27), Chicago (Aug. 23-24) and Homestead (Oct. 18-19). Each organization is allowed to send no more than one team to an open test. A single-day open team test is scheduled for Thursday, March 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway leading into the track's race weekend. All teams entered in the race will be eligible to participate in that test. The open team test at the 1.5-mile track comes as teams roll out a base rules package that will be used for all events other than those held on superspeedways.
    On the tire-testing front, this week's two-day Goodyear test at Las Vegas is the first of nine scheduled tire tests for Sprint Cup teams and the tire supplier, although Goodyear can increase that number when necessary. For example, the repaving of a track, such as at Kentucky Speedway this season, could necessitate an additional test for verification.
    NASCAR debuted the Unified Testing Master Schedule in 2015, eliminating private team testing in a cost-cutting move supported by teams. Unlike last season, however, when open teams tests typically came on the heels of the tire tests, this year's open tests are scheduled months after the initial Goodyear events. The additional time should give Goodyear time to build track-specific tires for the open tests instead of having teams test with tires unlikely to be used in the track's upcoming event.
    Additional tire tests currently scheduled are Charlotte Motor Speedway (March 8-9); Richmond (March 29), Pocono (April 19-20), Indianapolis (April 26-27), Kentucky (tentatively scheduled for May 3-4 although expected to move due to the repave), Watkins Glen (May 10-11), Michigan (May 17) and New Hampshire (May 31-June 1).
    As was the case last season, Sprint Cup organizations have been divided into groups of four and will participate in tire tests on a rotating basis. Each organization is scheduled to take part in four tire tests this season with the exception of JGR, which will take participate in five.(

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