NASCAR Teams Conclude Two-Day Spoiler Test; Jeff Burton Fastest on Final Day of Prep for Coca-Cola 600
The final day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spoiler testing and preparation for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 concluded 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."
"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.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is the home of NASCAR's biggest back-to-back race weekends with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Tickets and interest-free payment plans are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online. Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.
Morning Session - Top 10 Speeds
1. 31B Jeff Burton Chevy 28.539 189.215
2. 29 Kevin Harvick Chevy 28.741 187.885
3. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevy 28.952 186.516
4. 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 29.059 185.829
5. 43 AJ Allmendinger Ford 29.107 185.522
6. 1 Jamie McMurray Chevy 29.124 185.414
7. 48B Jimmie Johnson Chevy 29.125 185.408
8. 00 David Reutimann Toyota 29.126 185.401
9. 21 Bill Elliott Ford 29.168 185.134
10. 98 Paul Menard Ford 29.176 185.084
Afternoon Session - Top 10 Speeds
1. 43 AJ Allmendinger Ford 29.357 183.943
2. 48B Jimmie Johnson Chevy 29.707 181.775
3. 82 Scott Speed Toyota 29.769 181.397
4. 56B Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 29.811 181.141
5. 32 Reed Sorenson Toyota 29.823 181.068
6. 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 29.855 180.874
7. 31B Jeff Burton Chevy 29.861 180.838
8. 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 29.884 180.699
9. 98 Paul Menard Ford 29.886 180.687
10. 9 Kasey Kahne Ford 29.896 180.626