NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Spoiler Test At Charlotte Motor Speedway -- Day 1 * Teams Encouraged By Data Gleaned From Tuesday's Runs * Two-Day Session Helps Teams Prepare For Transition From Wing To Spoiler DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 23, 2010) --...
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Spoiler Test At Charlotte Motor Speedway -- Day 1
* Teams Encouraged By Data Gleaned From Tuesday's Runs
* Two-Day Session Helps Teams Prepare For Transition From Wing To Spoiler
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 23, 2010) -- Tuesday was every bit the workday for approximately 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams as they embarked on a spoiler test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The two-day session -- ahead of this weekend's events at Martinsville Speedway -- presages the reintroduction of the spoiler to competition.
Beginning with Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event, the spoiler replaces the wing on NASCAR's new car, and Tuesday morning's results seemed a validation, according to drivers who paid lunch-break visits to Charlotte's infield media center.
"I think it's a win-win and here we are testing," said Kurt Busch of the wing/spoiler switch. "We didn't just it put it on cold-turkey. NASCAR's working with the teams to make it the best product to put out there for the fans."
"I think it's good to get out here," said Kasey Kahne. "We don't get a whole lot of tests at race tracks anymore, so it's nice when we do. Ithink it's definitely a help for all the teams. You can try somethings that will work at Texas and work at other race tracks as well,and, hopefully, make gains with the cars."
This week's Charlotte test follows last week's one-day session at Talladega Superspeedway, where approximately 24 teams worked spoilers along with mechanical issues for the April 25 event at Talladega. The Charlotte test addresses only the spoiler, in detail.
Kevin Harvick lauded Richard Childress Racing's pre-test homework. His team began Tuesday with a baseline established by internal research and development. What he experienced on-track, validated it.
"It was good to know and put out of my mind that the spoiler was going to be a drastic difference in the way that the car drove," Harvick said. "That is not the case. The car has a lot of grip with the tire combination and the spoiler so it drives really good. We went right to work on the things that we needed to because we felt comfortable with the car. I think that's been good and everything has gone well so far."
Busch said the two Charlotte test days would help teams "dissect the car and find little things that we can build our notebook back up for when we go to other tracks." Teams typically begin tests with a checklist of setups and sequences to work through, based on car performance and driver feedback.
"When you're at a test like this and you can take data off the car, for us, we try as many things as we can," Scott Speed said. "I like the cars by themselves. I think the racing is going to be a little more difficult, honestly. But by themselves, they're nicer to drive, I think. The car is just snugger and has a little more grip."
NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton was pleased by Tuesday's early feedback.
"It looks like the test is going fairly well," he said. "We had made a gear adjustment for Charlotte based on some information from last year and because of what we learned today, we're already going back and adjusting to last year's gear ratio.
"All in all it's been pretty basic, pretty straight-forward as far as single-car runs."
Teams already were installing the new gearing on Tuesday afternoon, Pemberton added.
"Hats off to them," he said. "The teams have done a pretty good job of being prepared for this. Plus, this is a good surface to test at."
The switch from wing to spoiler was one of several rule changes announced on Jan. 21.
The wing replaced the traditional stock-car spoiler on NASCAR's new car, now in its third full time season. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams ran the wing for 93 races, beginning in March 2007 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Last week's spring race at Bristol was the wing's final event.
Both the Charlotte and Talladega tests are exceptions to the current testing policy. For the second consecutive season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams may not test at facilities that host national-series events. This year, teams may test at tracks that host regional touring series events, but not national series events.
What: NASCAR Sprint Cup testing
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Track Layout: 1.5-mile layout.
Who: Approximately 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.