Brad Keselowski Racing is spending two days this week testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
CONCORD, N.C. (Apr. 22) - Brad Keselowski Racing wrapped up the first of a two-day intermediate test session Monday evening for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Drivers Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski ran together during much of the evening session after making single-truck runs during the afternoon. Drivers and crew chiefs alike were pleased with the results of the first day on the track.
Blaney is fourth in the NCWTS championship standings after two races, four points behind leader Timothy Peters. He scored a season-best fifth-place finish Mar. 30 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. In two starts this season Blaney has one top five and two top 10 finishes.
2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski was behind the wheel of the No. 19 Ford during Monday's session and is scheduled to compete in the Charlotte event next month.
The two-day session wraps up on Tuesday with a session that is scheduled to run from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Ryan Blaney - No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford: YOU AND BRAD RAN TOGETHER A LOT DURNG THE NIGHT SESSION. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT? "These things are so aero-sensitive you don't know what you have until you get behind somebody. You know you're not going to lead the whole race ever so we just really have to adjust on our Cooper Standard Fords and make sure they're okay behind someone and we can still be competitive and racy. It was really big to get behind Brad. He is so good at knowing what these trucks need. He's driven them for so long and it's always good to learn from him. I like to think that I've driven them long enough to know what I like too. This track changes so much at nighttime it was really important for us to get out here in the cool of the night."
Chad Kendrick - Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford: "We had a test plan and had probably seven or eight items to test and then we also came here to get ready to race here in a couple of weeks. During the day we were just a little snug, so we did a few things that actually made it turn better, gave the front grip, really help the truck rotate. It was awesome during the day practice. We knew it would free it up a night but not that much so when we started the nighttime practice it was way, way too free. So we came in and took about three-quarters of what we'd done back out from the day and it hooked right up and it was really, really good in traffic at night." HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR RYAN TO RUN LAPS TONIGHT WITH BRAD? "Very important. Really the daytime stuff was more of a test session. The nighttime is when we race. Probably almost every mile-and-a-half we go to is a nighttime race. It's important for him to know that during the daytime we need to end at a certain tight level to be good in the race and I think he learned that today."
Brad Keselowski - No. 19 Draw-Tite/Reese Towpower Ford: "My initial thoughts are that I'm thankful that NASCAR put together a test for the teams that was able to utilize a facility that's close to a lot of the home bases at a rate that was collectively cost effective. I think it saved the industry a lot of money. My hat's off to them for being forward thinking and trying to get ahead a little bit on the intermediate package for 2014. I think that's probably a pretty good thing for our sport all the way around, a good move." WILL THIS TEST SESSION HELP YOU AT KANSAS AND OTHER INTERMEDIATE TRACKS? "Potentially everywhere but most significantly the other mile-and-a-halfs." HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO RUN LAPS TONIGHT WITH RYAN BLANEY? "We're learning. It's one thing to be fast by yourself but you've got to be fast in traffic and that's something that we're always trying to get better at with our Draw-Tite/Reese Towpower Ford."
Doug Randolph - Crew Chief, No. 19 Draw-Tite/Reese Towpower/Broken Bow Records Ford: "I think we learned a whole lot and I think we've got some pretty good pieces to work with this year. The nice thing about having Brad and his feedback is he always challenges us to get better and he can pick out small, minute things that we can go to work on. We've got a game plan on some of those for tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will go in our favor and we'll get an opportunity to adjust on 'em. It's definitely the same ol' Charlotte. Three and four is always a struggle when the sun is out and it gets better when the sun goes down but it's always the difficult corner. You're always working on that end of the racetrack. Since it's been repaved and the hard tire that difference in old and worn out and hot and sunny versus night is not near what is used to be but yet it's still the exact same thing you fight." HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TONIGHT TO HAVE BOTH TRUCKS RUN TOGETHER? "I think it's very important because you don't race by yourself. You can spend all day, many days testing and learn how to make a fast lap and obviously we don't even qualify anymore just by yourself. I think it's very important because at the end of the day it's all about racing and being around other people and how your vehicle reacts in traffic. The last couple of tests that we've done as a company we've been able to do that and that's actually where we've made our biggest gains."