Generation-6 Car Hits Richmond International Raceway For First Time
Generation-6 car hits Richmond International Raceway
for first time
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:00 am
car hits Richmond International Raceway for first time BY BILLY FELLIN
April 2, 2013
With a little over three weeks remaining until the green flag
drops on the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Richard Petty
Motorsports and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing took to the track on Monday for a test
session with the new Generation-6 car.
Along with marking the first laps completed at RIR with the new
car, this was the first test session at the track using the new testing rules.
In 2008, NASCAR enacted a testing ban at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks.
That was changed this season, with each team allowed four test sessions.
“It’s crazy to be testing at a track that we actually run at,”
said Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet SS for EGR. “We don’t get to
do this very often. It was odd pulling in here this morning and getting to log
laps somewhere where we are going to race at.”
McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya in his No. 42 Chevrolet
were on hand for the test, along with Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola in their
No. 9 and No. 43 Ford Fusions. The testing continues through today.
Initial indications from the drivers were that the Generation-6
car was fast on the ¾-mile, D-shaped track. McMurray said the times were close
to the qualifying record.
“This car is certainly capable of going lap record-speeds around
this place,” Ambrose said. “If the weather is good in qualifying and nice and
cool, we’re going to lay down some fast laps around this place.”
The track record was set by Brian Vickers in 2004 with a lap of
Almirola said that the testing session allows the teams to try out
new setups and try things with the new car.
“We’re learning,” he said. “We’re running through some things that
we wouldn’t normally run. It’s been a good test so far. We’re going to keep
working on it to see if we can get it better and better.”
For McMurray, time spent running around RIR is valuable, given the
difficulties the track provides.
“For a lot of teams, this is a tough track to get around,” he
said. “It’s hard to make your car turn in the middle of the corner and then
it’s probably the slickest racetrack trying to get drive off the corner. You
literally, in the race, will spin the tires from turn four to the start-finish
line. That’s what we’ll work on the whole time we’re here and hope you find a
good baseline setup to come here with.”
The Sprint Cup Series will head to Martinsville on Sunday. The
drivers said information gained at Richmond can help at other short tracks.
“This is a good place to test,” Montoya said. “It’s a good short
track. It’s got good banking, it’s hard on brakes, and it’s hard on power.
You’ve really got to get the car working well here.”
NOTE: Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer will drive the
honorary pace car to start Sunday’s NASCAR race at Martinsville, a track
spokesperson said Monday.
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