Eighteen drivers are expected to test today on Charlotte’s road course, the first time many will run on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn course that will host a playoff race in September.
Scheduled to test are: Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne, Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell, Gray Gaulding, Landon Cassill and BJ McLeod.
The session goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public.
NASCAR anticipates lap times of around 78 seconds. Lap times are expected to be about 80 seconds in race conditions. The Sept. 30 race will be 400 kilometers.
Denny Hamlin will be making his first appearance on the course that incorporates most of the track’s oval, along with an infield section.
“It’s kind of quirky,” Hamlin said of the track Charlotte Motor Speedway is calling a roval. “It’s not your normal cup-of-tea road course. I’m going to try to survive first through the test. That will be the object … and then try to get competitive when we come back for the race.”
Brad Keselowski, who also has not been on the course yet, has a simple goal for the test.
“I’m going to try to go there and not wreck,” he said.
There will be a test July 17 for the other teams not at Tuesday’s session.
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The cars of Landon Cassill and BJ McLeod both will be penalized 15 minutes of practice Saturday for being late to inspection before last weekend’s race at Sonoma Raceway, NASCAR announced.
They will serve the penalty in the final 15 minutes of the session.
The opening practice session is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
While most eyes are focused at the front of the pack, some incredible performances often go unnoticed outside of the top 10. On Tuesday, NASCAR America showcased three drivers who had outstanding runs in the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
“I’m going to go with Chris Buescher and his 12th-place finish,” Landon Cassill said. “I thought he had a solid day. You know, his teammate is AJ Allmendinger … is an animal at these road courses, but Chris just put together a solid day and he’s a good driver at Sonoma. I worked with Chris when we both drove for Front Row Motorsports and I can tell you that I’m pretty sure he still holds the record in the Ford simulator for the fastest lap at Sonoma. … I used to use his car as a Chase car in the sim to help my laps at Sonoma.”
That was Buescher’s third consecutive top 20 on a road course and it comes on the heels of an 11th last August at Watkins Glen International.
Matt DiBenedetto has never been known as a road racer. In six previous starts on this type of track, he had never cracked the top 20 – until Sunday’s race at Sonoma when he scored a career-best 17th.
“My ‘Running with the Pack’ guy’s also not a road course guy: Matt DiBenedetto finished 17th at Sonoma after starting 30th and that is the ninth time in 16 races that he’s outperformed where he qualified,” Nate Ryan said. “I think that’s significant, I think that tells you how good GoFas Racing is, making the most of what they have.”
Dale Jarrett went a little deeper in the field.
“I’m going with somebody, who his team has only ran their seventh race at Sonoma and that’s our colleague Parker Kligerman. … He’s an outstanding road racer. He has that background, but he’s a good racer everywhere he goes. He ran inside the top 20 most of the day.”
For more, watch the video above.
Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to dig into the storylines from last week’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.
Carolyn Manno hosts with Dale Jarrett in Stamford, Connecticut. Landon Cassill and Nate Ryan join them from Burton’s Garage.
On today’s show:
- We’ll continue to break down Sunday’s race at Sonoma by focusing on some of crew chief Cole Pearn’s decision-making which have led Martin Truex Jr. to some big wins.
- We’ll also look at some of the performances which may have been overlooked at Sonoma in this week’s edition of “Runnin’ with the Pack”
- We’ll bring you all of the best sound from Sunday’s race with Scan All: Sonoma.
- Pete Pistone, co-host of the Morning Drive on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, joins us with his take as NASCAR invades his hometown of Chicago this weekend.
If can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.
Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.
Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.
Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the driver lineup for the two days of testing that will take place in July on the track’s road course.
NASCAR created two separate test days. Tests will be July 10 and July 17. Both sessions will go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. ET.
The tests are open to the public.
The Cup series races on Charlotte’s road course Sept. 30 in the playoffs.
Scheduled to test on July 10
Martin Truex Jr.
Scheduled to test on July 17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
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