NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Tests at Lowe's Motor Speedway 2-Day Session The Series' Fifth Scheduled Test Of 2007 Lowe's Session Also The Series' Final Test For Current Car DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 6, 2007) -- With two major, back-to-back ...
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Tests at Lowe's Motor Speedway
2-Day Session The Series' Fifth Scheduled Test Of 2007
Lowe's Session Also The Series' Final Test For Current Car
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 6, 2007) -- With two major, back-to-back events looming at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams are ready to embark on two days' preparation for both.
The track will host 52 series teams for a test session on Monday and Tuesday, ahead of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, a non-points event, on Saturday, May 19, and the Coca-Cola 600 the following week.
But this test also has importance beyond those events. The series returns to Lowe's on Saturday, Oct. 13. Plus, the information gleaned this week can be applied to other 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule.
"It's the last test of the year for the current cars, and the last chance for teams to prepare for mile-and-half tracks coming up," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's Vice President of Competition.
This week's test is the fifth of seven NASCAR-scheduled series tests in 2007. Teams will run the current race car at Lowe's and other 1.5-mile tracks while phasing in the Car of Tomorrow -- the next-generation race car and the culmination of a seven-year project by NASCAR's Research & Development Center -- in 16 of 36 series events this season.
"It's important because it's the first time we've been at an intermediate track test since Las Vegas," said Chad Knaus, crew chief for reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), adding that data culled from that March session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway isn't applicable because teams tested on a different tire combination than they ran in the Las Vegas event.
Knaus and Johnson are keen on any test at Lowe's; they have five wins there, including season sweeps in 2004 and '05, and three consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories from '03 to '05. They also have two wins -- in '03 and '06 -- in the non-points NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
Two other items Knaus is eager to test: Chevrolet's new R07 engine, and tires.
"They're running the same tire that we ran last May," he said, "and it'll be interesting to see if the track has changed."
Monday's session runs from 2-9 p.m., weather permitting, with Tuesday's session from 1-9 p.m. Each includes a dinner break from 5-6 p.m.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing Fast Facts
What: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing
Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway
Track Layout: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval
When: Monday and Tuesday
Times: 2-9 p.m. on Monday; 1-9 p.m. on Tuesday
Who: 52 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams