NASCAR Cup teams tire test under lights at RIR – open free to fans!

Photo by Sandi Goodall/

Photo by Sandi Goodall/

I couldn’t think of a better way to chill out after a hard days work, than to watch NSCS teams tire test under the lights on a warm, summer evening at Richmond.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be tire testing at Richmond International Raceway on August 19-21, in advance of next months Federated Auto Parts 400. 

RIRs grandstands will be open free to the public from 5:00 to 9:00 pm/et each night.

Participating in the upcoming tests:

Monday, August 19
Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Casey Mears

Tuesday, August 20 & Wednesday, August 21:
Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer & Mark Martin

Fans may enter Richmond International Raceway through the Main Gate, located at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Meadowbridge Rd. Parking will be on the Midway, outside of Gate 70. A concessions stand will be open with food and beverages, and fans are allowed to bring in their own food and beverage (no glass allowed).

Tickets are on sale now for the Federated Auto Parts 400, Saturday, September 7. Advance tickets, including seats in Turns 1 and 4, start at $45, and can be purchased online or by calling 866-455-7223.

Source: RIR

Testing completed at Tricky Triangle: What the NASCAR drivers were saying

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet drives during testing for the new track surface at Pocono Raceway on Thursday in Long Pond, Pa. ~ Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR

Pocono Raceway is about to conclude two days of Goodyear Tire testing.

The newly completed repave project along with the shortened race length – from 500 to 400 miles – have offered drivers something to chat about. Day 2 of NASCAR Sprint Cup testing at Pocono Raceway just ended. Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne,  led the way at 179.490 mph, fastest of the three test sessions. Jeff Gordon had earlier surpassed Kevin Harvick topping out a speed of 179 mph – Harvick was holding the top speed of 177.859 mph throughout the Goodyear Tire test. A.J. Allmendinger set the pace in the morning session at 177.190 mph – well ahead of the 175.380 mph fast lap Mark Martin recorded on Wednesday. A total of 41 cars tested today; yesterday 36 cars were on track.

Here’s what they are saying:

Over all, It’s FAST. It’s SMOOTH. Drivers are expecting some excitement on Sunday.

Last year’s Pocono 400 winner Jeff Gordon said crew chiefs can leave their notes at the shop. “I am definitely not thinking about being the defending champion of that race at all just because there is nothing to compare to with a repave,” said Gordon. Gordon also stated that he “…loves Pocono Raceway and didn’t want to see it repaved, but understands tracks have to do what they need to do… and happy that the track did a good job”

Needless to say, this was recorded before his last run which resulted in the fastest speed of the day – so far.

Is this weighing heavily on his mind? You better believe it is. Gordon’s 94 points behind current 10th-place Clint Bowyer but a single point outside the top 20 and “wild card” territory. Gordon also looks to become the fifth driver to reach 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top-10 finishes.

Jimmie Johnson said repaving shouldn’t be a radical departure from the past because the same kind of materials were used in both old and new asphalt.

“Normally, it’s an edgy race track regardless of the tire that you come with on a new repave,” said Johnson, whose two Pocono victories came in 2004. “It sounds like we didn’t have that [during the test] and Pocono made sure they used the same mix, the same asphalt that we were racing on.

Current points leader, Greg Biffle, who previously won at Pocono during the 2010 August race is looking forward to the new format and thinks the fans should too. “I think the racing being shortened to 400 miles will create some excitement with the fan,” said Biffle. “There will be more urgency to go and different strategy.”

“The race track is very fun in the sense of how they graded it and smoothed it out in different places,” said Denny Hamlin, a four-time winner at Pocono. “It’s still Pocono, but it drives very different than what it used to. You’re getting a feel of a lot of different race tracks here within the Pocono Raceway.

“You’re going to see massive dive bombs going into the corner trying to get position. My estimation – you’re going to see a lot of excitement,” Hamlin said.

Jeff Burton stated in the news conference that the repave didn’t change the characteristics of the Tricky Triangle and since repaving has improved through the years, Pocono Raceway created a smooth, fast racing surface.

NASCAR Managing Director of Competition and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby says the racing will improve as the weekend progresses and groove widens.

The final NASCAR Sprint Cup test session ends with the Top 10:
#5, #1, #55, #24, #27, #39, #22, #11, #31, #29

42 Cup teams took to the track during Thursday morning’s test session: The top 5:
#22-Allmendinger 177.190
#42-Montoya 176.602
#55-Martin 176.595
#15-Bowyer 176.550
#11-Hamlin 176.218

Michigan International Speedway to hold open Goodyear Tire test

Newly repaved MIS 2 mile oval. Photo courtesy of MIS.

Five drivers, Jeff Gordon (2 wins), Matt Kenseth (2 wins) and Kyle Busch (1 win) – also including Brad Keselowski and Juan Pablo Montoya – are scheduled to test repaved Michigan International Speedway this Tuesday (April 3) and Wednesday (April 4). The Goodyear Tire Test is open to the general public.

The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for fans to watch the test free of charge. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open, but the concession stands will be closed.

This was the fourth repave project, which cost $7 Million, at MIS  was completed back in October. The track was built in 1968, and was repaved back in 1977, 1986 and 1995.

Crews smoothed out all of the dips and bumps that occurred over time, making MIS now as smooth as $7 Million silk.

With the use of data points by the engineers, they were able to duplicate all points of the original pavement. MIS has always had variable banking in its 18-degree turns. Variable banking allows cars to carry more speed through the turns, enabling drivers to run multiple lines around the racetrack. A smoother surface usually means more grip with the tires, and more grip means better handling of the cars so drivers feel good about passing and driving high lines.

Besides completion of the two-mile oval, the 1.5-mile road course inside the oval was also paved. During the latest project, 22,000 tons of asphalt was placed on the surface, enough to construct about 5 ½ miles of a two-lane county road. The track was paved in two layers with each layer 1 ½ inches thick for a total of three inches. Therefore, the track is now approximately 2 ¼ inches higher than it was previously.

NCWTS returns to ‘The Rock’ for open Goodyear tire test

In advance of NASCAR’s return to Rockingham Speedway on Sunday, April 15 for the Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 Presented by Cheerwine, Goodyear will host a tire test for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on March 6-7.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivers participating are James Buescher (Turner Motorsports), Jason Leffler (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing).

Rockingham Speedway
2152 N US HWY 1
Rockingham, NC 28379

Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to test at Kentucky Speedway June 1; open to fans

Kentucky Speedway fans are invited to view a seven-driver NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goodyear tire test session for free on Wednesday, June 1 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Drivers Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Joey Logano, Mark Martin and David Reutimann are scheduled to provide tire compound feedback as they prepare for the speedway’s inaugural “Quaker State 400” event that takes the green flag on Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.

The designated fan viewing area will be outside Turn 3 near the Kentucky Speedway corporate office and gift shop building just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy 35 N at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, Ky.

The driver lineup is subject to change, drivers are not scheduled to interact with fans, team activity will vary based on session goals and the session is scheduled to conclude at 5:00 p.m.

First Goodyear tire test complete at Daytona International Speedway- drivers pleased

Bright sunshine and higher temps warmed up Daytona International Speedway’s new racing surface for the second – and final – day of the two-day Goodyear tire test.

Jeff Burton and Kurt Busch discuss their view on the newly repaved DIS with the media. Photo credit: Daytona International Speedway Media

“I think it has gone really well,” said Jeff Burton, driver of the #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, driver #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, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy and Bobby Labonte, driver of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota, all visited the infield media center.

“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.

It’s worth noting that this week’s test was for confirmation, not a process of research. And from what the driver’s are saying, the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on February 20th will be exciting…very exciting.

Day 2 tire testing at DIS. Photo credit: Daytona International Speedway

Eighteen drivers from six teams, including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya, took part in the test. Some teams brought cars and engines from last season. Others tested their latest and greatest technology, including ethanol-blended fuel. All the teams used a slightly smaller restrictor plate than the one bolted on engines at Daytona last season. The top speed was 197.5 mph, and NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said officials will evaluate testing results before deciding whether to reduce the plate even further. “We may need to come down a little bit off of that, which would be like a 64th of an inch or something,” Pemberton said.

Next up will be the 2011 NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest  at Daytona International Speedway which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Rain date is set for Sunday, Jan. 23.

All NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions will begin at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 pm, weather permitting. 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.