Drivers practice at VIR

ALTON, VA - While Tony Stewart was celebrating his win in victory circle, commentators were pointing out that the top three finishers were all open wheel, road-racing "experts." One significant factor hinted at during the Fox broadcast, but not ...

ALTON, VA - While Tony Stewart was celebrating his win in victory circle, commentators were pointing out that the top three finishers were all open wheel, road-racing "experts." One significant factor hinted at during the Fox broadcast, but not fully explored, acknowledged that many more than those three drivers' teams conducted pre-race testing for the Sears Point NASCAR event at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) near Danville, Virginia.

It was mentioned that eventual winner Tony Stewart practiced for the Sears Point race at VIR but so did 6 of the top 10 finishers and 7 of the top 10 teams in the Dodge / SaveMart 350. Ward and Jeff Burton, finishing 6th and 8th respectively, not only grew up just a few miles from VIR in South Boston but tested at the legendary road course recently. 3rd place finisher Jeff Gordon as well as Bill Elliot (9th) and Rusty Wallace (5th), the latter having tested at VIR on no less than three separate occasions, all used their experience at VIR to "tune up" for the Sears Point race.

Perhaps the best story of the Sears Point weekend was the sixth place finish of South Boston native and Dodge driver, Ward Burton. Burton, who has never had a top ten finish at the Sonoma Valley track north of San Francisco managed to hang in with the lead crowd all day and finished sixth overall! Apparently, Burton's practice at the up and down, left and right twists and turns of Virginia International Raceway equipped him with the tools to make a quantum leap in his road-racing performance.

-VIR

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About this article
Series Automotive , General , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace