Teams prepare for MIS race at test session

Teams prepare for MIS race at test session

Four NASCAR Winston Cup Teams headed north to Michigan International Speedway to test prior to the June 13 -15 Sirius 400. Richard Childress Racing, Robert Yates Racing, Ultra Motorsports, and Jasper Motorsports were greeted by less than warm ...

Four NASCAR Winston Cup Teams headed north to Michigan International Speedway to test prior to the June 13 -15 Sirius 400. Richard Childress Racing, Robert Yates Racing, Ultra Motorsports, and Jasper Motorsports were greeted by less than warm weather with the temperatures in the mid 50's and early morning rain.

Kevin Harvick in Jack Spargue's car.
Photo by NPStudios.
The weather did not deter the teams from getting ready to run. Drivers, Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler, Jimmy Spenser and Dave Blaney were ready to get with the program and provide the behind the wheel input to the crew chiefs and team engineers. MIS has some of the best track dryers in the business and the track was ready to run just before noon.

Each team brought at least two cars, a race car and a test car. RCR brought three cars, two race cars and one test car. The race cars would be used as a baseline to compare to the test cars. The test cars were painted in primer or just the base color. After all why waste time and manpower painting a car the would likely never see competition? The drivers were sent out in the race cars for about 5 to 6 laps. They then switched to the test car and sent out for another sets of laps. Data was extracted from the on board data acquisition systems and after a set of runs, the data was compared between the race car and the test car.

The engineers and crew chiefs poured over the data and made changes to the test cars. The driver then did another back-to-back stint in the test car and the race car. This process was repeated over and over through out the day. Sometimes the changes were minor and the driver barely had time to catch his breath before being sent back out for another set of laps. However, each team decided to change the rear gear and the down time gave Motorsport.com a chance to chat with the driver.

Elliot Sadler commented, "Today I am concentrating on getting both of our cars (the 88 and the 38) working on the bottom. If I can do that, I know we can make passes come Sunday and that is what we are really working on real hard right now," and added, "If we get the body straight, we should be ok".

#7 test car.
Photo by NPStudios.
Jimmy Spencer, who is 29th in points after Dover is looking to get the program up to potential "We have run good, but we need to test here to get a direction to fix some problems". When asked about the young guns and why they are running so fast. Jimmy quipped "Well..they are showing up with good equipment" He further indicated that that was the focus of this test for the Ultra Motorsports Team, make the equipment better.

Kevin Harvick, 9th in points took a more philosophical stance.

"I have a job to do, just like you have a job to do here". Kevin felt that these test sessions gave him time to focus on the race car and his driving, compared to a race weekend with his many fans begging for an autograph and his many sponsor commitments. "It can be great, but some times it is a pain in the butt".

The RCR team kept him busy hopping in and out of the three cars. He probably got the least rest of the drivers present.

Sadler speaks out at MIS test

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Harvick , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Yates Racing