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CONCORD, N.C. — Rain washed out the first day of testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday, leaving Sprint Cup teams with just one day to gather data on NASCAR’s new car on the 1.5-mile track.
After Friday, it will be up to teams to figure out where to test as they try to get the new Sprint Cup car up to speed on a variety of tracks.
NASCAR changed its testing rules in 2013 to allow each organization four tests at tracks where the series runs Sprint Cup races. Teams still can test as much as they want at tracks that don’t host national series events.
In trying to help teams learn about the 2013 car, which has a new body style, NASCAR set up two days of testing last month at Charlotte plus another two days this week following a three-day test last week at Daytona International Speedway.
None of those tests count against the four. NASCAR also plans to open Las Vegas Motor Speedway a day early for a test and add practice time to the Texas and Auto Club Speedway weekends.
Teams must decide whether to hold their tests until later in the year to focus on the Chase for the Sprint Cup or whether to test at a track they race on early in the year, especially if they get off to a slow start.
“You probably are going to want to use those tests early in the year to get a handle on what the car likes and dislikes and what you’re going to learn there is going to transfer through the whole season,” three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart said after the policy was announced last year.
“If you get a really good start to the year, you might save them.”