Weather Postpones NASCAR test until Wednesday
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on December 8, 2013 | 5:02 P.M. EST
NASCAR postponed Monday's test to Wednesday because of rain. (Photo: Getty Images)
NASCAR has postponed Monday's test at Charlotte Motor Speedway until Wednesday because of rain and a forecast that calls for additional rain Tuesday.
More than 20 teams are expected to take part in the test to help set the rules for next season. The National Weather Service's forecast for Wednesday calls for mostly sunny conditions with a high of 47 degrees and light wind. The schedule will remain the same with teams allowed on the track from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NASCAR is set to test a taller spoiler, a wicker bill on the roof, changes to the splitter and ways to slow the cars slightly. Series officials have tried a tapered spacer but also could look at taking horsepower away via the throttle body. This is a continuation of a test that officials held Oct. 14 with six teams.
“We'll be validating some of our beliefs, a prior test and other things, and I'm liking what I'm seeing,’‘ NASCAR Chairman Brian France said. “It's tightening up competition.’’
Gene Stefanshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development, has stated that even if some ideas aren’t ready for 2014, such testing could lead to their implementation in 2015.
NASCAR officials plan to run simulated races of about 40 laps to see how the cars react over a longer period of the time. The focus is to find ways to allow cars to race closer together, particularly at 1.5-mile tracks. One of NASCAR’s measuring sticks is lead changes. There were an average of 21.7 lead changes at such tracks this past season but an average of 13.5 green-flag lead changes in those events.
Those scheduled to take part in Monday’s session include Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
“If there is a way to be a part of making the racing the best it can be, I want to be a part of it,’’ Edwards said. “I think NASCAR is doing the right thing. They’re being open-minded about their approach. They’re going to film everything, analyze it, talk to us and have meetings. I think we’ll learn something for sure.’’
Among those who will not test are Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, but Gordon’s team will be there with Regan Smith driving the car.
This also will be a good chance for drivers with new teams to work together.
Kevin Harvick, who moves to Stewart-Haas Racing from Richard Childress Racing, said “I’ve never been more excited to test a racecar in my whole life. To be in the car Monday is exciting for me because of all the unknowns.’’