TESTING NOTES: what you see posted here is all I know about testing
I do not know of any other sites that have testing news or I'd post the link
Some teams test and there is no report on it, some tracks do not release speeds
2011 Testing Rules: Looks like the 2011 rules are the same, past the testing at Daytona. NASCAR announced its 2010 testing policy for its three national and two regional touring series. The policy will again prohibit testing at tracks which host NASCAR national series events, by teams in the following series: NASCAR Sprint Cup; NASCAR Nationwide; NASCAR Camping World Truck; NASCAR Camping World East; and NASCAR Camping World West. In 2010, however, testing will be allowed at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks that host a regional touring event but do not host a national series event. Based on this season’s regional tour schedules, the following tracks would be eligible to host tests next year: Greenville-Pickens Speedway; Tri-County Motor Speedway; South Boston Speedway; Thompson International Speedway; Music City Motorplex; Adirondack International Speedway; Lime Rock Park; Thunder Hill Raceway; All American Speedway; Madera Speedway; Douglas County Speedway; Toyota Speedway at Irwindale; Portland International Raceway; Miller Motorsports Park; Colorado National Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2009)
Nemechek runs 203mph at Daytona test....alone: #87-Joe Nemechek, a driver/car owner, reached 203 mph without a drafting partner during Tuesday's test session at Daytona International Speedway. The day was supposed to belong to NASCAR as it tested various setups in an effort to break up the two-car tandem draft. But instead, Nemechek was the talk of the garage and what it might mean for qualifying if Tuesday's changes are implemented for the Feb. 26 Daytona 500. "We were changing the restrictor plates and all kinds of stuff," Nemechek said. "I mean, (the speed is) just the product of putting more horsepower to the back tires. I think we're going to be quite a bit faster when we come back here for qualifying day. It's going to be interesting. All the teams are going to have to do some more homework." Nemechek was testing with Triad Engine Development, a North Carolina-based company. "We were using a 1 1/16-inch plate and a 3-inch radius spoiler," Triad Racing Development head engine builder Jon Dysinger said. "This was better than we expected."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-16-2011)
Aerodynamic testing at Daytona UPDATE comments: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are scheduled to test at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to evaluate and prepare aerodynamic baseline packages for the January 12-14, 2012 Preseason Thunder Test at DIS. Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15th from 10 am - 5 pm/et. Teams scheduled to participate include: Hendrick Motorsports (two cars with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aric Almirola); Roush Fenway Racing (two cars with drivers David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose); Joe Gibbs Racing (one car with driver Joey Logano), Michael Waltrip Racing (one car with driver Martin Truex Jr.), and NEMCO Motorsports (one car with driver Joe Nemechek). A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.(DIS)(11-11/15-2011)
UPDATE: Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams turned laps at the high banks of Daytona International Speedway Tuesday, seeking the best baseline aerodynamic package for next January's Preseason Thunder Test at "The World Center of Racing."
Teams participating in Tuesday's test included Hendrick Motorsports (Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aric Almirola); Roush Fenway Racing (David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose); Joe Gibbs Racing (Joey Logano); Michael Waltrip Racing (Martin Truex Jr.); and NEMCO Motorsports (Joe Nemechek).
After the track was dried following an early morning rain shower, teams first got on the track at 11:45 a.m. The initial restrictor plate size was 29/32 inch and the initial spoiler size was 4 ½ inches tall, 63 inches wide, which was the same spoiler size for last July's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona. By day's end, the size of the rear spoiler had been reduced to 3 inches tall by 62 inches wide. The smaller spoiler results in less down force and drag, but still allows the cars to maintain high speeds and remain under control.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevy), a 13-time race winner at Daytona, said Tuesday's test session was a "positive step in finding a solution to the drafting style at Daytona."
"I did not anticipate finding a magical solution here today, but we will be much better off and a lot smarter about things by having tested," said Earnhardt. "This is just part of the work that needs to get done. There are a lot of creative minds out here. We're learning what we need to know. I think we're all in agreement that we probably won't totally rid ourselves of the tandem racing, but I'm confident we can get to the point where it will not be the norm."
Martin Truex Jr. (#56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and solid restrictor plate racer, said there was a lot of mixing and matching going on in the garage this afternoon. "We tried several different packages out there today and what we're trying to do is put an end to this two-car draft, or at least make it so we can only get together for a lap or two and have to switch or run in a pack," said Truex. "NASCAR is being smart about all of this and they are going through some steps to see if the changes that we're making will result in what they think they will be."
John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director, said that Tuesday's test should allow NASCAR the ability to formulate a solid baseline aerodynamic package that teams can work on heading into next January's three-day test session at DIS, Jan. 12-14. "One of our goals is to give the teams more options when it comes to how they draft and we believe we're headed in the right direction on that," said Darby. "We want to be able to reduce the difference in the speeds between the tandem style of racing and more of the pack style of racing and we made a lot of good progress on that here today."
Both Earnhardt and Truex agreed that the transition to Electronic Fuel Injection in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is right on track. The sport's premier series will implement EFI beginning at Daytona next season. "The computer guys like what they've seen so far with the EFI test and I'll tell you what, when I've tested the EFI car, it drives as well or better than the carburetor cars," said Earnhardt. "To be honest with you, if you didn't know it when you got into the car, you couldn't tell a difference," said Truex. "The only thing that's different is the way it starts. You don't have to pump the gas like a normal carburetor. You just flip the switch and crank it up like a street car."(NASCAR)(11-15-2011)
AND: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Daytona Test -- Notes & Quotes from #20-Joey Logano:
Q) What have you learned so far from today's test session at Daytona?
Logano: "We learned that when you take a spoiler out of a race car at Daytona it makes the car go faster. We were going 206 or 207 or so. We've been doing that, taking the rear spring out of the car and just taking downforce away from these things. Trying to get away from that two-car draft. We're slowly getting away from the two-car draft, making it harder to do it. I guess we've made gains today because that's what NASCAR is looking for."
Q) Have you noticed a difference with the new electronic fuel injection in the race car?
Logano: "No, we can't really tell much at all, but that's a good thing.(Toyota Racing)(11-16-2011)
Day Two: NASCAR Test At Phoenix International Raceway: On-track preparations for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are officially complete as teams concluded a two-day test session on Wednesday. This second day of testing hosted 35 teams on the newly repaved and reconfigured one-mile oval. There were a variety of reactions to the new track, but change seems to be the one constant that drivers have seen to the 47-year-old facility. “As we ran the track, it got a lot better with rubber,” said #99-Carl Edwards. “As treacherous as this place was in the Goodyear tire test, as tough as it was to drive, it got better the whole day. I think we have a lot to look forward to once the track gets more rubber on it. To me it's going to be pretty amazing to be the penultimate race and have all those opportunities for something crazy to happen, it could shake everything up. I don't know how all those dynamics are going to work out. I think as we see the other series run, we'll learn where the problem spots are.”
Crew chiefs have also had to adjust a little over the last two days and try a variety of set ups and strategy. “It's awesome,” said Steve Addington, crew chief #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge and driver Kurt Busch. “They've done an awesome job with the racetrack, plus they've done an awesome job on pit road. You look forward to picking a pit. All the pits should be good when we come back to race. I think that's going to be the action place. We were talking about it last night, about the double file restarts, getting through two. Getting into the dogleg is going to be exciting. During the test, everybody is giving. When you catch a car, they let you go. But when they start racing, it's going to be pretty interesting through there. That's going to open up another can of worms to see how all the action takes place back through there. Getting into it, positioning yourself, where you get a run on the guy, whether it's on the outside or inside of him, the give and take is going to be pretty interesting.”
As teams took their last lap around the track and completed their final notes, the new Phoenix International Raceway certainly has teams and NASCAR ready for an exciting Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race come November. “Testing here has allowed the teams to really focus on their strategy and gather crucial data as they prepare for the upcoming race weekend,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “This is a totally new race track and as with all newly repaved facilities, time is going to play a factor in how these cars compete. It will certainly be an exciting weekend in Phoenix for sure.”(NASCAR)
SPEEDS #14-Stewart was the fastes on the 2nd day of testing with a speed of 137.762mph followed by #48-Johnson and #29-Harvick. The all time track qualifying record, run under the old track configuration was 137.279mph, set by #99-Carl Edwards this past February. See testing speeds on my 2011 Phoenix Testing page.(10-5-2011)
Testing at Phoenix Tuesday & Wednesday: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has a two-day test session at Phoenix International Raceway scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 4-5. Teams will be on track from 10 am to 4 pm. In March, construction began on Phoenix’s first track repave since 1990. This test provides the first opportunity for all teams to run on the new surface in preparation for Phoenix’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Nov. 13. Though Phoenix International Raceway remains one mile in length, changes to the banking and configuration have been implemented to promote side-by-side racing. As of today, 37 teams have entered for the test. In addition, three have opted to test fuel injection [no word which teams], as NASCAR and its teams continue to prepare for the introduction of fuel injection for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition, comments on the upcoming test at Phoenix: "The test at Phoenix will give teams the opportunity to gather data for everything they need for their chassis and simulation work in preparation for November's Chase race. Not only is Phoenix getting a repaved surface, there is a track configuration change to go along with it. The backstretch will now have a more defined dogleg and the bank angles have changed. It's almost like we'll be looking at a new race track."(NASCAR)(10-3-2011)
Daytona testing dates set for January: NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 12-14. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions begin at 9 am and end at 5 pm, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1 pm. Race fans can also rev up their new year at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest – the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest driver sessions – from 5-9 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12 and from 5-7 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 13.
The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder. Fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(9-29-2011)
NASCAR changes Phoenix schedule; Goodyear chooses tire: NASCAR has eliminated a scheduled Sprint Cup practice on Thursday of race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 11-13. Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to participate in an open test at Phoenix Oct. 4-5. Those testing sessions were scheduled because the track has been reconfigured and resurfaced since NASCAR's last visit. The Thursday practice apparently was eliminated because of the October testing opportunities. Teams are approaching the Phoenix race as one of the most important in the Chase not only because it is the next-to-last event but also because the new surface will make most notes from previous PIR races virtually obsolete.(SPEED)
AND: Goodyear has selected its tire for Phoenix International Raceway. Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager/Worldwide Racing, said that when the Sprint Cup tour returns to PIR for the two-day test, Oct. 4-5, teams will use the same left-side tires as they did at Indianapolis. They also will go with a right side similar to what they used in Indy in terms of construction, compound and mold, but with a little different gauge and tread thickness for heat resistance.(Fox Sports)(9-25-2011)
Tommy Baldwin Racing Tests at GMP: Gresham Motorsports Park was expecting one driver to test with Tommy Baldwin Racing and was surprised to see two! Steve Park and Stephen Leicht arrived early Tuesday morning to test on GMP’s half-mile oval. “The test was good today. This is a good place to make changes on the car without going through a lot of tires,” said TBR owner, Tommy Baldwin. “The track is beautiful! This is the first time I have been here and I was really impressed with the race track,” said NASCAR driver, Steve Park. “This track is most similar to Richmond. Richmond is a little bigger and the banking is a little more dramatic than the track here, but the corners are very similar to Richmond.” TBR will team up with Park for the second annual modified tribute car. Park will run the #35 “Ole Blue” Chevy to tribute owner, car-builder and mechanic Len Boehler in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 25th. Fans will have the unique opportunity to sponsor the #35 “Ole Blue” Chevrolet by making contributions from $20 to $10,000. For each contribution, fans will have the opportunity to add their name to the Len Boehler tribute car that will race in the Sylvania 300. All proceeds exceeding $100,000, the cost to race in the Sylvania 300, will be donated by Tommy Baldwin Racing to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Geoff Bodine will run the #35 Golden Corral Chevy in Atlanta this weekend. Stephen Leicht will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for the Cup Series race at Richmond in the #35 Pepsi Max Chevy.(Gresham Motorsports Park)(9-1-2011)
Testing at Road Atlanta: hearing a few Sprint Cup drivers tested at the Road Atlanta road course Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week; including #6-David Ragan, #17-Matt Kenseth, #00-David Reutimann and #5-Mark Martin.(7-28-2011)
Some Cup drivers to test at Infineon: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #6-David Ragan, #00-David Reutimann and #66-Michael McDowell will take part in a test session at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 24-26. The drivers will pilot late model stock cars during the test. The test is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th.(Infineon Raceway)(6-13-2011)
Testing at VIR today: Open stock car testing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th at Virginia International Raceway, a road course in Alton, VA. Sprint Cup teams that attend will be preparing for upcoming races at Infineon Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August. Fans can attend to watch testing, admission is $10 per person. More info at virnow.com. Their Facebook page mentions the following drivers: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #4-Kasey Kahne, #14-Tony Stewart and #11-Denny Hamlin but also mentioned there is no confirmed list in advance and some drivers / teams just show up. From pre-race PR's, drivers who are supposed to testing include: #9-Ambrose, #43-Allmendinger, #34-Gilliland, #11-Hamlin, #32-FAS Lane, #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #33-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #2-Keselowski, #4-Kahne and Raikkonen is practicing the #7 Dodge for Robby Gordon. Note: supposedly Kahne is testing at Road Atlanta and not at VIR.(5-24-2011)
Testing at VIR: there is an open Stock Car test at Virginia International Raceway scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th with many NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expected to test there in preparation for NASCAR's road race coming up at Infineon Raceway.(VIR)(5-15-2011)
Stewart testing at the Rock: gearing that #14-Tony Stewart is testing at "Little Rock" today, the 1/2 mile track at Rockingham Speedway.(3-14-2011)
Ambrose to test at Disney World: The #9 Richard Petty Motorsports team are scheduled to spend Tuesday, February 15th testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida.(RPM)(2-11-2011)
Jeff Gordon tests at Pike Peak: Jeff Gordon traveled to Colorado on Friday to test his #24 Chervy at Pikes Peak International Raceway through today [Saturday]. Gordon arrived in Colorado early Friday morning before heading to the Pikes Peak track, just south of Colorado Springs in Fountain, CO. Gordon wants to test on a downforce track. Pikes Peak's low banking — the corners rise just 10 degrees — mimics the corners at Phoenix International Raceway. The Phoenix track — which has an 11-degree corner bank and is 1-mile long, like Pikes Peak — will host the Sprint Cup race that follows Daytona, on Feb. 27. Gordon and his team will be at the Pikes Peak raceway all day today. Testing is open to the general public, though admission is $10 (Denver Post)(2-5-2011)
More testing at Walt Disney Speedway UPDATE: last week more NASCAR teams tested at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, FL, including #18-Kyle Busch [Cup], Todd Bodine [Trucks] along with David Ragan, Brian Scott and Steve Wallace - unsure what series they were testing for. Supposedly there is more testing scheduled at the track this week.(2-1-2011)
UPDATE: testing at Walt Disney World Speedway on Tuesday were #31-Burton, #42-Montoya and #27-Menard.(2-2-2011)
Vickers testing in Orlando UPDATE: Brian Vickers, who was forced to take a medical leave of absence from the Sprint Cup Series last spring, planned to make his first laps in one of his Red Bull Racing Team stock cars Monday at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, FL. Vickers posted on his Twitter feed, "Just got to Walt Disney World Speedway. Going to make the first laps of 2011 this afternoon -- Can't wait!" And just after 12:30 pm, apparently after making his first run, Vickers posted, "Damn that felt good. Everything fits just like I left it." Red Bull officials were not immediately available for comment about the test on the oddly-shaped one-mile oval that was used in the late 1990s for a couple Truck Series races, along with IndyCar Series events.(NASCAR.com)(1-10-2011)
UPDATE: For sidelined NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, Walt Disney World truly is the happiest place on earth. A number of Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams are set to test at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Speedway today, including Vickers, who climbed behind the wheel of his Red Bull Racing Toyota for the first time in eight months. Vickers last competed in the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 8, finishing 10th before being sidelined the following week by blood clots in his legs and lung. He did not race again in 2010. "Today was just a huge weight off of my shoulders," said Vickers. "Not only for myself, but for the guys on the team. There were so many rumors, assumptions and speculations about my health and status for 2011, but today hopefully put all of them to rest. It felt damn good to get back in the car. Everything fit. Everything felt right. Everything was just the way I left it last May. Just to fire the car back up was awesome, and then to punch it for the first time was such a great feeling. We are here to get more seat time for me and so I can back in groove with the road crew. I don’t think we are going to learn anything ground-breaking today, but it's really just a great chance for us all to work together, and the bottom line for me is just to get back in a race car and log some laps." The team has still not made an official announcement on whether Vickers has received approval from his doctors for a return to full-time competition at the wheel of the Red Bull Racing #83 Toyota this season, as a teammate to #4-Kasey Kahne.(Sirius Speedway)(1-11-2011)
Next up - Daytona testing Jan. 20-22 & NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest: Daytona 500 champions Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are among the drivers that will appear at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at historic Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, Jan. 20 and Friday, Jan. 21. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the new asphalt at Daytona International Speedway in a three-day test session, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22.
Tickets for NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 and available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 2011 Daytona 500 ticketholders and children 12 and under will receive free admission. Advanced reservations are available (limited to 250 people) for special autograph sessions to be held with participating 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and Daytona 500 champions. Additional driver autograph sessions will be held on both days with wristbands available the day of the event.
To request access to the special autograph sessions, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit the Daytona International Speedway ticket office beginning on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m.
In addition to viewing the on-track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands near Turn 4.
Drivers currently scheduled to make appearances on Thursday, Jan. 20 beginning at 6 p.m. are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith.
Scheduled to appear on Friday, Jan. 21, during the 5-7 p.m. session are Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, David Reutimann, Casey Mears, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kevin Conway, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. In the 7-9 p.m. session, drivers scheduled to appear are AJ Allmendinger, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose and Matt Kenseth.
Lastly, race fans will be able to camp in the infield of Daytona International Speedway for free with their admission ticket during the three-day test inside Turns 3 and 4. Sites will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates to the infield will open Thursday, Jan. 20 at 8:00 a.m.
Among the activities planned for both days include:
• Interactive driver question and answer sessions on the main stage
• Show cars, displays, music
• Photo opportunity with the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy
• Blood drive outside the Turn 4 tunnel
Tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-4-2010)
SPEED to provide Daytona testing coverage: SPEED and SPEED.com are presenting 23 hours of live testing coverage from Daytona Jan. 20-22 as the Sprint Cup Series engines roar back to life in the month of January for the first time in three years. John Roberts and Jeff Hammond host SPEED's on-air coverage from the studio above Victory Lane at Daytona. Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip will offer analysis throughout the practice sessions with reporting by Bob Dillner and Krista Voda. SPEED.com is presenting live streaming of all on-track activity with the exception of 3-5 p.m. ET Thursday, and will feature a rotation of on-air personalities. Daytona testing coverage gives fans their first extended look at the new race surface at Daytona International Speedway -- a surface the racers expect will add to the level of excitement in February. SPEED schedule for Daytona testing (all times Eastern and live unless otherwise indicated):
Thursday, Jan. 20
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED.com)
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. (same-day delay) (SPEED)
Friday, Jan. 21
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. (SPEED)
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED.com)
Saturday, Jan. 22
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. – (SPEED)
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. – (SPEED.com)
Next up - Daytona testing Jan. 20-22: The next on-track activity for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be January’s three-day test at Daytona. The session, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Sunday, Jan. 23 is the rain date. The 2011 edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder will help teams further acclimate to the new pavement, plus speed their preparation for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions begin at 9:00 am/et and end at 5:00 pm/et, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1:00 pm/et. Fans seeking to rev up their new year can do so at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona – the companion event to the January test. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity, fans can enjoy three Fan Fest sessions in Daytona’s Sprint FANZONE – from 5-7 pm, and 7-9 pm, on Friday, Jan. 21 and from 5-7 pm, on Saturday, Jan. 22. Driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions are planned. Fans also can watch each day’s testing at no cost, beginning at 9 am.(NASCAR)(12-16-2010)
Cup Series Teams Complete Goodyear Tire Test At Daytona: As sunshine warmed Daytona International Speedway’s new racing surface on Thursday, so did the expectations and excitement levels for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20. Thursday marked the second day of a two-day Goodyear tire test in preparation both for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ traditional season-opening event and the track’s new asphalt. The repaving project – only the second in track history and first since 1978 – began immediately after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on July 3 and ended last week. With this week’s test open to all series teams, a number took advantage, filling the frontstretch side of the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage with their haulers.
“I think it has gone really well,” said Jeff Burton (#31 Caterpillar Chevy). “Everybody is happy with the surface. The tire combination seems to be really good.”
“It's just a new attitude,” said Kurt Busch (#22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge). “This is what 2011 will bring to start off our Sprint Cup season. Big, exciting time. I'm proud to be able to say I got a chance to race on the surface when it was redone.”
Busch and Burton, along with reigning Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray (#1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy) and Bobby Labonte (#47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota) all visited the infield media center during Thursday’s lunch break. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and Goodyear Director of Racing Greg Stucker also participated in the midday press conference.
“Good communication all along between the folks here at Daytona, Joie, Goodyear, the race teams, the series directors, everybody that had input,” Pemberton said. “It's nice to know you can show up at one of these things, have so many different things that we faced and challenges over the last year to get ready for this. Looks like the plan came together nicely.” Burton was heartened that Daytona’s repave – while cutting-edge – respected the venue. He cited the 2007 repave at another historic NASCAR venue, Darlington Raceway, as a positive example.
“It's much smoother, has a tremendous amount more grip, but it's still Daytona,” Burton said. “They didn't try to change the banking from the bottom to the top, do all that stuff. They just kept Daytona and put pavement on it. I'm glad that's what they did.”
Although the focus remains on the racing surface, McMurray noted details like a wider pit road. “They did a really good job, not only on the racetrack, but widening pit road,” he said. “It's really nice to get that little bit of extra room on pit road. Pit road speeds are really fast when you come to [restrictor] plate tracks. Typically we have the smallest brakes on the car that we run all year long, so pit road is also trouble. So the fact they widened that 10 or 12 feet is really nice.”
Media and fan interest also is accelerated. A portion of Daytona’s grandstands was open for public viewing both Wednesday and Thursday and television cameras weren’t the only ones being wielded. “It's real important,” Labonte said of public and media fanfare. “They have a section open for the fans. They can come down here and see us drafting. I'm sure they've got their cameras out showing video to their buddies now on who-knows-where it's all at. It's the first time we've been to the new facility. That's exciting.”
It’s worth noting that this week’s test was confirmation, not a search process. Stucker said a tight calendar meant Goodyear officials did the bulk of their compound research testing at Daytona’s sister track, Talladega Superspeedway, also the only other restrictor-plate track on NASCAR’s three national series’ calendars. Drivers, teams and track and NASCAR officials all draw natural comparisons off Talladega, which was repaved prior to its fall 2006 event. The completion of a test asphalt strip at Daytona allowed Goodyear officials to gather additional data, which Stucker said was compared to August’s test results at Talladega. “We're well into production for the 500,” Stucker said. “In fact, we're just about done. We've come down here and really confirmed that all those decisions we made were the right ones. Very glad to hear that all the guys are comfortable with our setup and really everything we've seen so far has been very good from our perspective, very consistent, a lot of good comments from the drivers.”(NASCAR)(12-16-2010)
Some Day 1 testing news from Daytona: Statement From NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton About Goodyear Tire Test At Daytona International Speedway: “It was a very good day. The teams came well-prepared. Goodyear came well-prepared. The racetrack has a lot of grip. The surface is very smooth. It appears in drafting practice that they immediately went three-wide.”(NASCAR)
AND Mark Martin awarded high marks to all parties after Day One of a Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway today. Speaking to Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, Martin said, “I think we ran six laps without even wearing the sticker off the left front tire. In fact, we could probably run the full 500 miles on the same set of tires. There will be zero tire issues during Speedweeks. The track is smooth, its fast and it's not wearing the tires at all. The grip is obscene, and I’m sure the guys from Goodyear are probably having a party tonight.” Martin also offered his prediction for the upcoming Daytona 500, saying, “The race is going to be crazy. Everybody better start getting ready right now.” Sources say speeds were in the neighborhood of 195 mph, with three-wide (and some four-wide) racing common. "we ran three-wide quite a bit," said Martin, "and toward the end, we got a little braver and tried four-wide. That's not going to work for very long before someone gets into the side of the guy next to him and causes a wreck." Only one major incident slowed the day's test, when David Ragan crashed his Roush-Fenway Racing UPS Ford. (Sirius Speedway)
IMAGES: see some images from Day 1 of testing by Motorsports Images and Archives on my December 2010 Daytona Testing page.(12-15-2010)
Teams, drivers lined up for Daytona test TODAY: The Goodyear tire test scheduled for next week at the repaved Daytona International Speedway is an important one for data gathering but not so important that all teams will attend to help the tire manufacturer confirm which tire would perform best for the Daytona 500. Plans for teams and drivers can still change before the Dec. 15-16 test on the new surface, but tentatively only four drivers from this year's Chase For The Sprint Cup- #24-Jeff Gordon #22-Kurt Busch, #31-Jeff Burton and #17-Matt Kenseth - say they plan on participating. Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Robby Gordon Motorsports are not planning on attending the test, which had been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 7-8. NASCAR will have an open test for all teams Jan. 20-22, and all teams are expected to attend that session. For some teams the test will be vital. Penske Racing drivers #22-Kurt Busch and #2-Brad Keselowski will get their first chance to be on a restrictor-plate track with the new Dodge nose. All three 2010 winless Hendrick Motorsports drivers - #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon and #5-Mark Martin will be there - to gather data and be with their new crew chiefs as well. Five-time defending Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson will not attend. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will be there with #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, while Kenseth and #6-David Ragan will represent Roush Fenway Racing. Burton and #27-Paul Menard will be there for Richard Childress Racing. Other drivers expected to attend are #47-Bobby Labonte (JTG Daugherty Racing), #83-Reed Sorenson (Red Bull Racing), #78-Regan Smith (Furniture Row Racing), #21-Trevor Bayne (Wood Brothers Racing), #13-Casey Mears (Germain Racing), #64-Todd Bodine (Gunselman Motorsports) and #92-Brian Keselowski (K-Automotive Motorsports).(Scene Daily)(12-8-2010)
AND no word if any speeds will be reported but the Goodyear tire test will be open to the public with free access to the Oldfield Grandstands through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. And on Thursday at 12noon/et a press conference will be streamed live on daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(12-15-2010)
December Daytona Tire Test Set: Daytona International Speedway has confirmed with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company officials a December test on Daytona's newly-paved surface. "The latest communication we got from Joie Chitwood at Daytona to our general manager, Stu Grant, was that we'd be set to go on Dec. 15 and 16," Rick Campbell, Goodyear NASCAR project manager, said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It'll be a two-day test and we're in the process of getting the teams notified to make sure they know how it's going to work and what the ground rules are." Goodyear originally had requested to have the test the first week of December but was informed the track wouldn't be ready. Campbell acknowledged that moving the test closer to Christmas might impact teams' ability to participate, but Goodyear was still optimistic. "The later we get, the more of a struggle it'll be to get teams there, because their people have vacation plans and we understand that completely," Campbell said. "We're hoping to get 15 or 20 cars there -- if we don't, we'll do the best we can with what we get."(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2010)
UPDATE: In what will be one of the most anticipated test sessions in the history of the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway and Goodyear officials have finalized the dates of Dec. 15-16 for a tire test on the new racing surface. The test will be the first time race cars will turn laps on the new asphalt of Daytona International Speedway, which was repaved for only the second time in its history. Drivers who will participate in the test will be announced at a later date. The Goodyear tire test will open to the public with free access to the Oldfield Grandstands through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. On July 5, Lane Construction began the historic repaving project and used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway with a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Two test sessions have already been scheduled for January – the Roar Before The Rolex 24 on Jan. 7-9 and NASCAR Preseason Thunder with the Sprint Cup Series tams on Jan. 20-22. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP (DIS)(11-21-2010)
Pre-Season testing at Daytona in January: Daytona International Speedway’s new racing surface will receive its NASCAR christening next January, during a three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test. The session, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Sunday, Jan. 23 is the rain date. The 2011 edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder will help teams acclimate to the new pavement, plus speed their preparation for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 – the series’ traditional season-opener. The repaving project – only the second in track history and first since 1978 – began immediately after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on July 3. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions begin at 9:00am/et and end at 5:00 pm/et, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1:00pm/et.
Fans seeking to attend can do so at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona – the companion event to the January test. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from Daytona’s Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest sessions – from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21 and from 5-7 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 22. Driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions are planned. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20. Fans also can watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Teams from the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series are expected to receive extra practice time during Speedweeks to get acclimated to the track’s new surface.
Tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(NASCAR & DIS)(10-9-2010)
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Born on Date: January 6, 2010