NASCAR Notebook: A Look At Who Is Testing Where

Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer, shown last August at Pocono Raceway, is among several drivers testing Tuesday at Pocono or elsewhere. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Nearly 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers were testing Tuesday at various tracks across the country.

Pocono Raceway was busy with teams from Michael Waltrip Racing (Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and Jeff Burton), Richard Childress Racing (Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman), Chip Ganassi Racing (Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson), Furniture Row Racing (Martin Truex Jr.) HScott Motorsports (Justin Allagier), Tommy Baldwin Racing (Michael Annett) and Go Fas Racing (Travis Kvapil).

Those teams will return Wednesday.

Richard Petty Motorsports tested Tuesday with Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola at Michigan International Speedway and will return Wednesday.

Several teams tested at road courses in preparation for next month’s race at Sonoma Raceway.

Testing at Virginia International Raceway on Tuedsay: Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Cole Whitt and Casey Mears.

Testing at Road Atlanta on Tuesday: Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart.

Hendrick Motorsports teams were not testing. They are scheduled to test June 3-4 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Chip Ganassi Racing also is scheduled to test there during those days. JTG Daugherty is not testing this week but is scheduled to test at Sonoma next week.

Ambrose said the Michigan test is a good one for RPM.

“We ran well here a few years ago, and we want to maximize it,’’ he said. “All the teams have progressed a lot with their setups. We feel we need to work on our intermediate program.’’

Rookie of the Year

Kurt Busch was selected as the rookie of the year for the Indianapolis 500 after finishing sixth there Sunday.

Busch attended Monday’s Indy 500 banquet and briefly got emotional as he talked about team owner Michael Andretti.

“I was blown away at the challenge of trying to understand the open-wheel world and the aerodynamics,’’ Busch said in his speech. “This whole dream of mine and this vision started two years ago when my career was at a crossroads and Michael Andretti, I met up with him ... (Busch paused), I’ll tell you, it was a unique chance to talk to him about running a NASCAR team. That’s how our conversation started. It was like, ‘Hey if you’ve got an open-wheel ride open, I’d like to try out that Indy 500.’ He was like, ‘Kid you can race with me any time.’ ‘’

Busch was referring to when Andretti looked into starting a NASCAR Sprint Cup team.

Busch thanked his Andretti Autosport team and his teammates before adding: “I guess the million dollar question is will I be back? I would love to be back. I had so much fun.’’

Busch becomes the third driver at Stewart-Haas Racing to have won rookie of the year honors for the Indy 500, joining Danica Patrick (2005) and Tony Stewart (1996). Busch collected $423,889 for his Indy 500 run. Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay collected $2,491,194.

Record-breaking effort

Greg Biffle has been running at the finish of 84 consecutive races. He broke Clint  Bowyer’s record last weekend in the Coca-Cola 600.

Herman Beam had a streak of 84 races where he was running at the end but those races were not consecutive. The last race Biffle failed to finish was the 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he was sidelined early by an engine issue.

 

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