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Drivers to take part in Cup Las Vegas organizational test

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Las Vegas Motor Speedway has announced a roster of 14 drivers who will take part in the first Cup organizational test of the year on Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

The test on the 1.5-mile track will be one of the first opportunities for teams to test the 2019 rules package that includes a tapered spacer.

The drivers who will take part:

Brad Keselowski (Team Penske)

Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports)

Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing)

Kurt Busch (Chip Ganassi Racing)

Ryan Newman (Roush Fenway Racing)

Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing)

Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing)

Landon Cassill (StarCom Racing)

Matt DiBenedetto (Leavine Family Racing)

Ryan Preece (JTG Daugherty Racing)

Paul Menard (Wood Brothers Racing)

Ross Chastain, David Ragan and Drew Herring are also scheduled to be at the track. They will be driving manufacture wheel force cars.

The test will be the first on-track time for Kurt Busch, Newman, Preece and DiBenedetto with their new teams.

The test is tentatively scheduled to run from 11 am to 9 pm ET on Jan. 31 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Feb. 1.

A section of the main grandstands and pit road will be open to fans at the test.

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Cup teams taking part in two-day test at Richmond Raceway

Richmond Raceway
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NASCAR is holding a two-day organizational test at Richmond Raceway Monday and Tuesday ahead of the Sept. 22 night race at the short track.

One car from each team is permitted to take part in the test.

Drivers taking part in the test: Jimmie Johnson, Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, David Ragan, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, and Drew Herring.

Grandstands are open Monday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET and Tuesday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET.

Fans can enter the track via the Main Gate at the corner of Laburnum Ave. and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike.

Coolers are permitted into the grandstands.

Social Roundup: Cup teams take part in Las Vegas test

Richard Petty Motorsports
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We’re now 18 days away from the Daytona 500 and 11 days away from the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

But NASCAR racing is already here.

Multiple Cup teams are taking part in a two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and we have the video and pictures to prove it.

Darrell Wallace Jr. was first on track in Day 1 of the test. It’s his first action as the full-time driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet.

Apparently, the rookie driver for Richard Petty Motorsports was a little eager to burn rubber.

Ryan Newman had the fastest lap time early, but rookie William Byron went to the top within two hours in his first track time in the No. 24 for Hendrick Motorsports.

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NASCAR America: Championship contenders part of Homestead-Miami test

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With only three races left until the NASCAR season ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway, some of the remaining playoff contenders got a chance to take part in a two-day test at the 1.5-mile track.

Eight teams were present for the test, including five of the eight that are still in the playoffs.

Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and defending race winner and champion Jimmie Johnson took part.

NASCAR America analysts Jeff Burton and Parker Kligerman discussed what teams can gain from the test, especially this close to the championship race.

“You have sometimes where it’s a younger driver who is trying actually to learn the track, it’s invaluable seat time,” Kligerman said. “(Jimmie Johnson) doesn’t need to learn that track. He knows how to get around there, he knows how to win. But he also knows the feel he’s looking for within that race car to make it as good as it has been when he’s won there before.”

Said Burton: “When you have a test in April, you’re more testing setups, you’re more testing principles and ideas. But it’s very difficult for this test, (for) the last race of the year, to not be specifically about that race track. Because when you go back, there’s so much on the line. If you’re testing in May and June, you’re thinking big picture.”

Watch the above video to hear from drivers at the test and more.

Blake Koch shows off custom scheme at Charlotte test

Daniel McFadin
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CONCORD, N.C. — Last month, Harrison Burton revealed a new paint scheme for his K&N Pro Series East ride that puts his car number on the rear quarter panels and the primary sponsor loud and proud on each door panel.

Someone at Kaulig Racing was on the same wave length.

When Burton’s announcement was made on April 6, a car with a similar look was already sitting on the shop floor of the team in the Xfinity Series. Driver Blake Koch had his own reveal Monday night on Twitter.

This is the first year K&N teams have been allowed to use the new number layout. NASCAR updated its rulebook for the series on March 9 with a bulletin allowing numbers and other forms of identification to be on the quarter panels. The format is also permitted in the Canadian-based Pinty’s Series.

The custom look for Koch’s No. 11 Chevrolet was made specifically for Tuesday’s Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The black car with sponsor Leaf Filter on each side stood out among other cars which paced the track in either plain black or gray or the car’s normal paint scheme.

“(General manager and crew chief) Chris Rice sent me a picture of that design before Harrison Burton announced his paint scheme,” Koch told NBC Sports between test runs Tuesday. “I really like Harrison’s. Anything you can do to make your sponsor bigger on the car is a plus.”

Kaulig Racing didn’t have to get any permission from NASCAR to have fun with its paint scheme for Tuesday.

“I’m not too sure NASCAR is ready to go to this style change yet,” Koch said. “But you never know. In the future, I think it’s great to be able to have the sponsor big. And it looks cool for our test car.  Just something a little bit different to grab some attention on social media.”

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