Testing Report Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Las Vegas Motor Speedway January 29, 2007; Las Vegas, Nevada 1.5-mile, Las Vegas Motor Speedway OVERVIEW: 'Under Construction' seemed to be the theme Monday...
Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge
Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
January 29, 2007; Las Vegas, Nevada
1.5-mile, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
'Under Construction' seemed to be the theme Monday at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway Monday. Over 90 cars were on hand at the track that is receiving a major infield 'face-lift' before teams return in early March for the third Nextel Cup race of the season. The track surface was already reconfigured and paved in the summer of 2006, but this was the first time that most Cup teams spent significant time at the track. The first of two days of testing did not go without incident with five on-track accidents. Drivers, crew chiefs and engineers were all left scratching their heads figuring out what it will take to win big at Vegas in March. The teams of Tony Raines, Reed Sorenson, Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, and Greg Biffle are down to one car for Tuesday's final day of testing after crashing on Monday.
Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team had a solid day of testing. Labonte turned in the 27th fastest time of the day. Crew Chief Paul Andrews discussed the teams test session and what he thought of the accidents.
"The test has been up-and-down," said Andrews. "We didn't start off great, but we got pretty good late afternoon. We were pretty happy, but maybe we messed up a little bit. We're not as happy as we want to be, but we keep trying stuff. We were pretty good in the early afternoon and happy. We just need to go back to that point. We didn't finish that off.
"All the wrecks are scary. It makes you nervous about the race. We just don't know what to think, what caused them. Some guys have lost tires and some haven't. We'll have to see, but it's pretty scary."
Kyle Petty and the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge team turned in the 52nd fastest time in the afternoon session. Petty was 36th fastest in the morning session. Crew Chief Billy Wilburn gave his thoughts of the first day and also discussed the concerns of wrecks at Las Vegas.
"Today was good," said Wilburn. "We didn't go as fast as we wanted to, but both '45' Dodges are almost equal. We have some changes to make on the motor and other stuff for Tuesday. We think that will be good for us. We went back-and-forth on gears today. That probably cost us some time. We have different things to try tomorrow and should be higher up the board.
"The tires aren't wearing, and maybe we have a harder tire here. The accidents might have been caused by different things. Stuff rubbing and things like that, but it's tough to say. It's OK, and we'll be alright. We haven't had any problems."
Teams return Tuesday for one final day of testing.