Hendrick, Ganassi Teams Finish Test


Jimmie Johnson joined his Hendrick Motorsports teammates at New Hampshire Motor Speeedway for testing Tuesday and Wednesday. (Photo: NHMS)


Hendrick Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing completed their second day of testing Wednesday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

No speeds were reported, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon talked to the media.

Earnhardt noted how crew chief Steve Letarte had the team running until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the first day of testing to better prepare for the track. New Hampshire will host a Sprint Cup race next month and the second race in the Chase in September.

"I think it says a lot that we're here testing,’’ Earnhardt said. “This is an important event, an important racetrack to be competitive at. We feel like we've been real competitive here and just need a little extra to try to get that win and try to get that victory because I feel like this is one of my better tracks.

“You only get four tests to choose and the whole company has to go and we all have to agree where we're going so any of those tracks that we choose, wherever they may be, it's a company-wide initiative to improve, so I think it says a lot that we chose New Hampshire to do the test."

Earnhardt said his car was good in Tuesday’s portion of the test.

Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson also tested for Hendrick both days. This was the organization’s first of four tests allowed at NASCAR tracks. Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson tested for Ganassi. This was Ganassi’s second test at a NASCAR track. McMurray and Larson tested last week at Pocono Raceway.

In last fall’s race at New Hampshire - won by Matt Kenseth - Johnson was fourth with McMurray fifth and Earnhardt sixth. Gordon placed 15th but led 36 laps. Kahne was 37th after being involved in an accident. Larson did not run in the Cup race

Johnson came into the test after having won the past two races and Gordon said he isn’t surprised with his teammate’s surge.

“You can't ever count those guys out, so I don't think any of us ever did,’’ Gordon said. “I think those (Charlotte and Dover) are two of their best tracks, and I think they capitalized on them and pulled off back-to-back victories and there's plenty of other good tracks for them. As well as Hendrick Motorpsorts has been running this year, I would only expect them to be one of the teams to beat week in and week out as well as for the championship."

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