Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopes the same good fortune occurs to him as it has for Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski this season.
Coincidence or not, Truex and Keselowski both won at tracks after taking part in a Goodyear tire test there. Keselowski tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in January and won there in March. Truex tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway in March and dominated the Coca-Cola 600, leading all but eight of the race’s 400 laps last weekend.
Earnhardt was at New Hampshire Motor Speedway — a track he has yet to win a Cup race at — Tuesday and Wednesday. Also taking part in the tire test were Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin.
“I just want to win the race,’’ said Earnhardt, who has four top-10 finishes in his last five starts at the track, to reporters on Wednesday. “We’ve had some top fives and top 10s but never really been that car. There seems to be every time we come here, there’s one guy that just stands out above the rest of the field. We’ve just never had that car. Hopefully, our opportunity to test here is going to give us a chance.
“I’d like to win everywhere at least once. This track is unique because it’s not a mile-and-a-half and it’s not a short track. So I think when you win at various types of configurations, it makes you feel more like the total package and a complete race-car driver.’’
Hamlin is the only former New Hampshire winner among those who tested. He won the 2012 Chase race and the July 2007 race there. He finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth last fall.
Stenhouse continues to search for his first career Cup win. He has one top-10 finish in six starts at New Hampshire. He placed 13th there last fall.
“This has been a really good track for us,’’ he told reporters. “I don’t love short tracks, but this is one that we’ve run really well at. We were running ninth last year and had an issue with a lug nut cutting one of our tires down, but I felt like we’ve had some good top-10 runs.’’
Almirola, who finished last in the fall race there, has two career top-10 finishes at New Hampshire.
“Loudon is tough. It’s a really tough racetrack,’’ he told reporters. “It’s a mile, so it’s a short track, but it’s really fast and there’s no banking, so it makes it hard to get your car to get grip into the racetrack. When you have banking, your car kind of loads into the banking, but when you have a flat corner, it makes it a lot hard to get it to stick to the racetrack.”