Repaved WGI producing “hold your breath” moments for drivers

Over the four sessions, rookie Chase Elliott posted the fastest lap on Wednesday afternoon with a speed of 127.7mph (69.042-seconds).

Repaved WGI producing “hold your breath” moments for drivers
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Wrecked car of Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
A.j. Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

Casey Mears was second quick with a lap of 126.5mph (69.703-seconds) narrowly edging out Brad Keselowski in third (126.5mph, 69.711-seconds).

Sixteen teams tested at Watkins Glen International Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday

Despite the new pavement, none of the drivers matched AJ Allmendinger’s pole-winning lap of 127.839mph (68.993-seconds) from 2015 — including the driver of the No. 47 Chevy whose best effort was 125.3mph (70.383-seconds).

Allmendinger’s early assessment of the track was that the surface was “smooth” but described the entrance into the corners as “hold your breath” moments. Allmendinger and the other competitors were challenged the first day after rain washed the rubber from the track. Dinger said it was difficult to get a feel for the tire.

“The tire that’s with this pavement, it feels really hard, it feels really slick,” Allmendinger said. “You’re sliding around trying to get an understanding of what’s it’s going to take and how much grip is going to be available on the racetrack. 

“For a repave, it’s a big deal washing all the rubber off of the race track. When they’re completely green and not a lot of rubber on it, it takes a while to get grip on the race track. Right now it’s really slick. It’s hard to figure out the set up. It hasn’t been a lot of fun to begin with. We’ve had to change a lot from the last two years from where we’ve been.”

Certainly, Allmendinger is one of the favorites coming into The Glen. He won the race two years ago — for his first career Cup victory and Chase berth. While Allmendinger believes his team has improved over the three years since he first joined the Tad Geschickter-owned organization, he understands “they have to get better.”

“Honestly, the Chase is the last thing on my mind,” Allmedinger said. “The string of the last six or seven weeks has been really tough. Stuff that, I guess you could say, out of our control and in our control —running better, maybe get yourself out of some bad situations. Sonoma, we had a chance to win and had a mistake there. 

“So it’s been a rough month-and-a-half, almost two months here. We’re just trying to go out there, minimize our mistakes and get better. Obviously, if you win the race — any of the races — you know what’s at stake, making the Chase. The last thing on my mind is the mentality of making the Chase…if we get in a position to win a race, that’s great. But we have to be better all around as a team.”

Keselowski’s Turn 1 wreck on Tuesday was the only accident of the test. The test was slowed twice on Wednesday for debris cautions.

Defending Cheez-It 355 winner Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne performed the Goodyear tire test on May 10-11

Here are some other notable speeds from the organizational test:

Kyle Busch 125.6mph (70.221-seconds)

Jamie McMurray 125.2.mph (70.456-seconds)

Michael McDowell 125.1mph (70.499-seconds)

Clint Bowyer 125.1mph (70.513-seconds)

Kurt Busch 125mph (70.572-seconds)

Martin Truex Jr. 125mph (70.578-seconds)

Austin Dillon 124.8mph (70.692-seconds)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 124.7mph (70.728-seconds)

Ryan Blaney 124.6mph (70.780-seconds)

shares
comments
NASCAR announces 2017 start times, moving closer to primetime

Previous article

NASCAR announces 2017 start times, moving closer to primetime

Next article

2017 NASCAR rules package to be used once again at Michigan

2017 NASCAR rules package to be used once again at Michigan
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020