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Richmond Test Next for COT

Richmond Test Next for COT

Richmond Test Next for COT
Pete Pistone

With a couple of short track races already in the books, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams will get a chance to test the Car of Tomorrow on a slightly bigger track this week at Richmond International Raceway.

More than 50 teams are scheduled to take part in the two day test, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at the .75-mile RIR facility.

Hendrick Motorsports has won both COT races held so far with Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson finding victory lane at Bristol and Martinsville. But the team will be using the Richmond test to find even more out about the new car.

"We plan on having 12 or 14 cars," Jeff Gordon said of the team's plans to build more COT machines. "Some people say you can get away with five cars. Maybe you can. We're going to build a bunch of them to be prepared. You've got testing and short tracks versus some of the other tracks. Body-wise, even though they're not that much different, some of the things we're doing geometry wise and with the travels, we want to build a bunch of them."

The Richmond test will be key as teams try to use what's learned this week in a number of races coming up on the COT schedule.

"It's real important because a lot of the tracks that we're going to run this car on have similar characteristics to that," said RYR's Butch Hylton said. "The Martinsville race and the Richmond test are going to be real important, and what you learn at Bristol will go into Dover and Darlington for you as far as how to stop your car and get the balance."

Tuesday’s test session begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m., weather permitting. It includes a dinner break from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday’s session, originally scheduled for 1-9 p.m., has been rescheduled from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m. It includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m.

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Re: Richmond Test Next for COT

Wallace Tops Tuesday Test
RacingOne Staff

It might just be testing, but the Car of Tomorrow is helping the smaller teams show some promise.

Five days after failing to qualify for NASCAR's second COT race, Kenny Wallace, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, had the honors of posting the fastest lap during the first day for Car of Tomorrow testing at Richmond International Speedway.

Wallace’s fast lap of 122.416 mph came in the night session that also saw Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon and Dave Blaney break the 122 mph barrier.

The top 11 cars bested Greg Biffle’s top time of 22.214 seconds (121.545 mph) from the afternoon session.

For Biffle and the rest of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers this week's test is an important one not only for next month's Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400, but also for the September Chevy Rock & Roll 400, which is the last race before the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup."

"This is going to be a good test for all the teams because, number one, this racetrack (RIR) is a good racetrack to test at," Biffle said. "It works well. The two corners are a little bit different and it’s a fairly decent speed racetrack for the size of it, and it just works really well for testing. I think this is going to be one of the best tests for the COT car."

Along with his teammate Matt Kenseth, who was fifth quick, Biffle was the only other Ford in the top 20 in the p.m. session.

Michael Waltrip made some gains in his Toyota this evening after he moved from 34th quick in the afternoon to seventh with a lap of 122.775 mph.

Toyota saw an additional Camry hit the track as NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Johnny Benson is testing the No. 46 Toyota for Wyler Racing.

"I'm pretty excited about being here, that's for sure," Benson said. "Tony Furr and the guys are doing a great job. We've come a long way from where we unloaded to now. They've made adjustments that have just made this thing really nice to drive. I've been happy so far with how the test is going, that's for sure."

68 cars among 51 teams took to the three-quarter-mile facility venue on Tuesday.

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Re: Richmond Test Next for COT

Sorenson Tops Richmond Test
RacingOne Staff

Reed Sorenson's Wednesday morning speed of 123.215 mph topped the four sessions of testing for the Car of Tomorrow at Richmond International Raceway.

The sophomore driver was fast throughout the two day test, posting the third and ninth best time, respectively, in Tuesday's test sessions.

Kurt Busch jumped to second overall this afternoon with a lap of 123.141 mph in his No. 2A Dodge.

Johnny Benson’s morning lap of 123.136 mph in the No. 46 Wyler Racing Toyota was good enough for third best. For Benson, this week marks his first time he’s been behind the wheel of a COT, and he’s impressed at what he’s seen so far.

"It's not as bad as what you hear,” Benson said about the COT. “They're actually a lot of fun to drive. When you look at it, there are some irritating spots where you wish it would turn better in these areas. But until you run these things at different places, you just have to keep working to get things figured out.”

With the impressive run in testing, Benson hopes the team will invite him back in May for the Crown Royal Presents the "Jim Stewart 400."

"I hope we get the opportunity to come back and try to qualify for this race and run it," Benson said. "I would be pretty excited about that and I think the guys would also be pretty excited."

Jeff Green (122.945 mph) and Jeff Burton (122.800 mph) rounded out the top five of the test.

Matt Kenseth, who was the fastest Ford over the two days at 122.560 mph, was pleased at the way the test went with his team and crew chief Robbie Reiser.

“It’s been going really good, Robbie’s been in a great mood, the whole team is in a great mood and everyone’s been working hard. So it’s been going good,” Kenseth said.

65 cars tested this morning session, and after crashing yesterday, Scott Riggs did not test the No. 10 Dodge.

A total of 59 cars took part in the last session with Michael Waltrip the slowest of the field.

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Re: Richmond Test Next for COT

mvbski wrote:

A total of 59 cars took part in the last session with Michael Waltrip the slowest of the field.

Why does that not surprise me.  big_smile

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