|Is Harvick saying, "Hey Zip, this 2014 stuff is easy" after Thursday test ?|
Serving as the first official NASCAR test with the new 2014 rules package in place, today’s four-hour session allowed teams to prepare for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – the series’ first visit to a 1.5-mile track in 2014 – and beyond.
Included in the new intermediate track rules package are various physical changes to the car that were determined after much collaboration between NASCAR, the teams and the manufacturers. Based in part on two lengthy test sessions at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and December, NASCAR implemented chassis and aerodynamic adjustments into the setup specifications to encourage more green-flag passing and side-by-side racing. Changes to the package include statically setting the race car ride height, a square leading edge on the splitter, side skirt and rear fascia adjustments and an eight-inch rear spoiler. A 43-inch by 13-inch radiator pan rounded out changes for 2014.
Fresh off his win at Phoenix International Raceway last Sunday, Kevin Harvick was at the top of the speed charts at the conclusion of today’s test session. The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet logged a total of 42 laps with a top speed of 190.148 mph.
“We were three or four tenths off [at the start of the test] and had to kind of abort on what we were doing and go a different route,” said Kevin Harvick, who won last week’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. “The next route was not as good and the third route finally wound up being good. I think those are good things that are, for us, important because it gives us direction when we go to other mile and a half race tracks so we don’t have to do like we did today. We can get to what has been working for us and just go straight from there to progress that package to make it even better.”
“There’s a bit of a learning curve,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. “The package we put together is going to be used on all the tracks except the superspeedways, so at Phoenix we began to see a glimpse, but obviously since that’s only a mile track, the speeds are a lot lower. They could probably only harvest maybe 30 to 40 percent of the capability of the package, so really this will be the first race where we get to see they can fully exploit the aerodynamic and chassis changes.”
Racing action will continue for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m. ET. Live coverage will air on FOX, Performance Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information, visit www.nascar.com and follow NASCAR at www.facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.