Thursday, March 25, 2010

NASCAR teams wrap up 2-day spoiler test at Charlotte Motor Speedway

 The crew of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton inspects
the underside of the car during testing Wednesday. (From NASCAR Media)

Jeff Burton fastest in second day of testing

The final day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spoiler testing and preparation for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 concluded Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, posting the fastest time of the day.

Burton's time of 28.539 and speed of 189.215 paced the 49 cars from 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams who came to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a two-day test session devoted to spoiler work. Spoilers will replace the wings currently on the backs of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars beginning this weekend at Martinsville.

Feedback from drivers on the second day of testing echoed the comments from the Tuesday session: the true test of the new spoiler will take place under race conditions.

"Personally I would like to find out more about my car in traffic from someone close to me and how it may affect the car," said four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. "It's not going to be huge, but the first race or two there might be an opportunity at some of the bigger tracks. If you understand the car before anyone else does, you can put someone in a horrible spot and take advantage of them."

"We've had a very productive test and all of the RCR teams have learned a great deal of information," said Burton. "The cars drive a little different and the reality is that the conditions and the tire combination are different than what it was last year. So we're learning new things that we can apply to every race from here out and hoping that our test data will translate well over to race conditions."

Getting tuned up in the garage is Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA Toyota during NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday.  (From NASCAR Media)

"I noticed I didn't have to use as much brake as I normally did, so maybe there's a little more drag in the corner," said David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. "It wasn't like you went out there and said ‘Man, this thing is completely different.' It wasn't a night and day deal."

"This is a pretty good place to test," Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, said of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's nice and smooth and gives you a good idea of what your mile-and-a-half package is like."

"I really like the spoiler," Edwards continued. "I think it's a great move. The fans are gonna like it and it doesn't seem to make the car feel much different."

The only incident of the day on track took place when the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier hit the wall, sustaining significant right front damage. Allgaier was unscathed but his car did not continue in the test session.

The top three speeds of the day belonged to Chevrolets, with Burton follwed by Kevin Harvick in the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (28.741, 187.885) and Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (28.952, 186.516). The top Toyota of the day and fourth fastest overall belonged to Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers in the No. 83 with a time of 29.059 and a speed of 185.829. Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 43 entry, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, was the fastest Ford of the day and fifth quickest overall with a time of 29.107 and a speed of 185.522.

During the test session, fans were given an opportunity to watch their favorite Sprint Cup drivers from the grandstands, which were open for free. Ticket holders to any Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway were granted special access to watch testing from a VIP area in the infield. Over the lunch break, more than 250 ticket holders also got the chance to participate in a Q&A session with NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Marcos Ambrose, and seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher.

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