Richmond Intl Raceway test summary 2006-04-11

Martin Fastest Overall on First Day of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing at Richmond International Raceway RICHMOND, VA 4/11/06--More than 35 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers took their first laps "under the lights" at Richmond ...

Martin Fastest Overall on First Day of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing at Richmond International Raceway

RICHMOND, VA 4/11/06--More than 35 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers took their first laps "under the lights" at Richmond International Raceway tonight, to end the first of three days of testing. Through NASCAR's new testing rules, teams are allowed two days of testing from 9:00 a.m. to

9:00 p.m. at America's Premier Short Track, the only short track on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series test schedules.

Kurt Busch topped the morning session (9:00 a.m. to Noon) with a fast lap of 21.583 seconds (125.360 mph), while former teammate Mark Martin clocked the fastest lap in the afternoon session (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at 21.705 seconds (124.395 mph). Martin topped the charts again in the evening session (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and was fastest overall for the day with a lap of 21.505 seconds (125.532 mph).

Tonight's testing will help the drivers prepare for the upcoming NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway on Friday and Saturday nights, May 5 -- 6, as well as the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 weekend September 8 -- 9, which will mark the 26th race of the season and set the stage for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

"The vision I think NASCAR has is to make the 26th race more competitive and that's why we're here testing at Richmond," explained past NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch. "That's the cutoff for the Chase, they want to make an equal opportunity for everybody when it comes down to the wire. Whether you're in or whether you're out, there's no excuses. You have a full two-day test to get ready for it. It's all great because it's fun to test at night because we race at night."

Drivers will be back on track Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. Testing is free to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday. The teams and drivers take a break from on-track action from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

Tickets for the May 5 Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch Series race are on sale now at the Richmond International Raceway ticket office and online at www.racetickets.com. Come out to cheer on your favorite NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers as they battle to beat NASCAR Busch Series stars to the checkered flag.

The top 10 fastest drivers of the day on Richmond International Raceway's ¾-mile oval, regardless of morning, afternoon or evening session were:* <pre> Driver Time Speed 1. Mark Martin (E) 21.505 125.552 2. Kurt Busch (M) 21.538 125.360 3. Casey Mears (M) 21.548 125.302 4. Greg Biffle (E) 21.554 125.267 5. Greg Biffle (E) 21.568 125.185 6. Kurt Busch (M) 21.573 125.156 6. Mark Martin (M) 21.573 125.156 8. Matt Kenseth (E) 21.589 125.064 9. Kyle Busch (M) 21.595 125.029 10. Kurt Busch (E) 21.598 125.012

Legend* M - Morning Session from 9:00 a.m. to Noon E - Evening Session from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. A - Afternoon Session from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

-rir-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin