|Dale Earnhardt Jr. testing new car at Charlotte Tuesday (Getty)|
CONCORD, N.C.—NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and teams continued the learning process of the 2013 Cup car Tuesday during an open test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
As they spent nearly six hours on the 1.5-mile track, with another six hours scheduled for Wednesday, teams ran through a variety of setups to learn how the new car reacts to different shocks, springs and other aerodynamic configurations.
About 10 of the 16 drivers did 15-lap runs together, where they tried to pass and see how the car handled in traffic.
What did they learn? That there’s still a lot to learn.
“I thought it was similar to the other car (in traffic),” said Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth. “When I pulled out there and I got around them other guys, if you had told me it was last year’s car, I don’t know if I would have known a difference.
“That is probably a good thing because in the early stages of developing anything, usually everybody thinks it’s worse. I didn’t see anything that was any worse than what we had.”
The new cars have distinct bodies for each manufacturer that give them more distinctive characteristics that resemble the passenger cars. While the previous car had virtually the same body for every car, now just the decklids are the same for the three manufacturers. That means each will handle differently under certain circumstances.
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|Brad Keselowski's No. 2 during Tuesday's Test Session at Charlotte - This car looks pretty sweet! (Getty)|