NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers Set for Homestead-Miami Test * Fifty NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers scheduled to participate in three-day test DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2006) -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams went to work Monday under a...
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers Set for Homestead-Miami Test
* Fifty NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers scheduled to participate in three-day test
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2006) -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams went to work Monday under a bright blue South Florida sky at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of the season-finale Ford 400 on Nov. 19.
With five races remaining in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup -- and the season -- teams have an opportunity this week to fine-tune preparations for not only a possible series championship, but also for 2007.
Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet), currently third in the Chase standings, said Monday's initial session helped his team re-establish their Homestead-Miami data.
"It seems like we're running the same speeds we ran last year," Harvick said. "We've got a new car, and it's good to be able to shake a car down and take some time with it, rather than show up and go with what you've got. And tonight will be really important. We haven't tested here at night."
This week's session also is open to teams wanting to test their Car of Tomorrow prototypes along with Homestead cars, and for Toyota teams preparing for the manufacturer's 2007 series debut.
On Monday, Roush Racing tested Car of Tomorrow prototypes with Jamie McMurray (No. 26 Crown Royal Ford) and Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford). Dale Earnhardt Inc., also fielded a Car of Tomorrow with Kerry Earnhardt Jr. driving a No. 1 Chevrolet, as did Wyler Racing with Johnny Benson driving a No. 72 Toyota Car of Tomorrow.
Jeremy Mayfield (No. 23) and Dave Blaney (No. 22) tested Toyota Camrys for Bill Davis Racing. Other teams testing Toyotas were Mike Skinner (No. 83) for Team Red Bull and Benson, for Wyler Racing.
The Car of Tomorrow is the culmination of a five-year design program by NASCAR's Research and Development Center. The new car's primary components are safety innovations, performance, competition and cost efficiency for teams. The new car will begin competition in 2007 at the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will race at 16 different events next season, 26 events in 2008 and all 36 events in 2009.
The Homestead-Miami test marks the final of six designated 2006 tests for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams. At the beginning of this season, NASCAR instituted a new testing policy to encourage a more level field of competition and help teams be more cost efficient, with these six tests (Daytona, Las Vegas, Richmond, Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Homestead-Miami) the only opportunities for teams to test at NASCAR NEXTEL Cup tracks.
The Homestead-Miami test began Monday and ends Wednesday. Teams may test on two of the three available days. All sessions begin at 1 p.m., and end at 9 p.m. (ET), weather permitting, with a dinner break from 5-6 p.m.
What: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing.
Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Track Layout: 1.5 miles.
When: Monday, Oct. 16 through Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Times: 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. (ET)
Who: 50 drivers in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series