Teams Spend Day Testing at Kentucky

EFI

Teams tested the electronic fuel injection today at Kentucky. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Testing Speeds

SPARTA, Ky. - Sprint Cup teams took part in a four-hour open test session Thursday afternoon as drivers attempted to dial their cars in for Saturday night’s inaugural Quaker State 400.

NASCAR opened the track for the extended session in anticipation of the Sprint Cup Series’ first-ever event at the 1.5- mile track and teams were appreciative of the opportunity.

“It’s great that NASCAR allowed this to happen because although we were able to test here a while back since the new policy went in play most of us haven’t been here in a while,” said Jeff Burton. “This gives everyone a chance to see just how this track has aged, where its characteristics are and for us to get things together so we can have a great race on Saturday night.”

Jimmie Johnson was on top of the speed chart after the session with Paul Menard, Travis Kvapil, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle the first five.

Last week’s Coke Zero 400 winner David Ragan, Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin completed the top 10.

One thing drivers all agree on is that despite Kentucky being at 1.5-mile layout that is similar to other tracks on the schedule, it does have its own nuances including a number of bumps all around the speedway.

"The track is rough. You’re really going to have your hands full trying to get a good package on your car to get through those bumps,” said Clint Bowyer. “The goal is to bounce through the bumps better than the next guy. No one is going to bounce through them well, but you want to be able to bounce through them better than the next guy.”

In addition to the open test ahead of Saturday night’s race, NASCAR also held a session to put the new fuel injection system that will debut next season through its paces.

Five engine builders brought cars to the test with a designated driver acquiring data and information solely centered on the injector systems.

“Those teams will be looking at engine mapping and the functionality of the system during that specific part of the day,” said Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief Steve Letarte. “This is a process that has been in work for some time but it’s great to finally get some actual on track experience at a track like Kentucky where we now race. That’s going to be huge in the evolution of this new era of NASCAR racing.”

Five engine builders brought cars to Kentucky to test the system – Hendrick Motorsports (Aric Almirola), Roush Yates Engines/Roush Fenway Racing (Greg Biffle/Matt Kenseth), Earnhardt Childress Racing/Richard Childress Racing (Austin Dillon), Toyota Racing Development/Michael Waltrip Racing (Mike Skinner) and Penske Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.).

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