Seven drivers took part in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session in an effort to evaluate and prepare aerodynamic baseline packages for Speedweeks 2012 and the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Seven drivers took part in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session on Tuesday at historic Daytona International Speedway in an effort to evaluate and prepare aerodynamic baseline packages for January’s Preseason Thunder testing sessions as well as Speedweeks 2012 and the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Teams that took part in the test included Hendrick Motorsports (two cars with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aric Almirola); Roush Fenway Racing (two cars with drivers David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose); Joe Gibbs Racing (one car with driver Joey Logano), Michael Waltrip Racing (one car with driver Martin Truex Jr.) and NEMCO Motorsports (one car with driver Joe Nemechek).
After the track was dried following morning rain showers, teams took to the track at 11:45 a.m. The initial restrictor plate size was 29/32 inch and the initial spoiler size was 4 ½ inches tall, 63 inches wide, which was the same spoiler size for last July’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona.
By day’s end, the size of the rear spoiler had been reduced to 3 inches tall by 62 inches wide. The smaller spoiler results in less down force and drag, but still allows the cars to maintain high speeds yet still under control.
“We’re pleased to host NASCAR for the one-day test as they continue to work on key elements for racing here at Daytona International Speedway,” Track President Joie Chitwood III said. “This test session was another important step for NASCAR as they develop the aerodynamic package for Speedweeks 2012 and the 54th annual Daytona 500. We will continue to work together leading into the 2012 season.”
Said Earnhardt Jr.: “I still feel positive about finding a solution. I felt like when we came down here it was going to take more than one day of testing to get there. This is part of the work. This is part of the work that has got to get done. Whether we find a solution or not today, we know a lot of things about what we learned today and we’re better off than we were yesterday.
“I didn’t anticipate coming down here and finding the magical solution. I just knew we needed to come down here and get some work done and figure out what we can while we’re here. This is an important thing to do. We also got an opportunity to work on our fuel injection. That’s all going really well. We’re going to be better off and smarter than what we were before we got here today. Hopefully that helps us and gives us an opportunity going forward with NASCAR and their engineering staff to come up with a solution.”
“There’s no doubt they’ll figure it out and I think what they’re trying to figure out is how they want to get to the end result,” said Truex Jr., driver of the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. “I think they know what they want and if they know what they want, they’ll figure out how to get it. They’re smart enough to know how these cars work. So, I think right now it’s just a matter of going through a few steps to see if the changes that they’re thinking of doing will do exactly what they think they will.”
Testing will continue at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday and Thursday as approximately 40 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge entries will turn laps on the 3.56-mile road course in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29 and the GRAND-AM 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race on Jan. 27.
Among the GRAND-AM teams expected to be testing include Predator Performance/50+ Racing and AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson, Spirit of Daytona, Michael Shank Racing, Brumos Porsche, Stevenson Motorsports, Rum Bum Racing and Rebel Rock Racing.
A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.
For information and tickets on all Daytona International Speedway events, go online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
or by call 1-800-PITSHOP.